Civic Federation Blog

07.17.14

Most Chicago TIF Districts Reported Revenue Declines in 2013

A new report by Cook County Clerk David Orr released on July 16 finds that 68.2% or 103 of Chicago’s 151 tax increment financing (TIF) districts experienced revenue declines in 2013. Only 30 TIFs reported revenue increases, while 21 of the districts did not collect any revenues at all....

07.10.14

Tax Rates of Major Chicago Area Governments Continue to Grow

Second installment property tax bills for Cook County residents were mailed out this month, the third year in a row that they have been sent out on time. Between tax year 1977 and tax year 2011, second installment bills were sent out late every year according to the elected officials associated...

07.03.14

Cook County Issues Preliminary Budget Forecast for FY2015

On June 26, 2014, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle issued a preliminary budget forecast for fiscal year 2015, which begins on December 1, 2014. The report also provides estimated year-end results for FY2014. A public hearing on the preliminary FY2015 budget will be held on July 16, 2014...

06.26.14

New Cook County Property Tax Bills to Include Additional TIF Information

Last week Cook County Clerk David Orr announced upcoming changes to property tax bills that will allow residential and business taxpayers with properties located inside tax increment financing (TIF) districts to see how much of their payments are going to TIF funds. For the first time, Cook County...

06.19.14

Chicago Faces Significant Swaps Liabilities if Bond Rating Lowered Again

The City of Chicago currently has the lowest rated credit of any major city in the country according to Moody’s Investors Service.  At Baa1, the long-term bond rating is still several levels above falling out of investment grade, but the City is at risk of having to pay large liabilities...

06.11.14

FY2014 Public Safety Spending in Cook County

Cook County is a home rule government with three primary responsibilities: collecting tax and fee revenue, protecting public health through the administration of a public health and hospital system and ensuring public safety and justice through the operation of a jail and court system.  The...

06.09.14

Op-ed: Gov. Quinn, sign Chicago's pension bill

The following opinion piece by Civic Federation President Laurence Msall was published by the Chicago Tribune on June 5, 2014. State legislators left Springfield last weekend with very little to show for their disappointing efforts this year. Police and fire pension funds are still in danger of...

06.05.14

Chicago Area Governments Prohibited from Improving Pension Funding Without State Intervention

State statute governs all benefits and funding of public pensions for the City of Chicago. The City cannot contribute more to its pensions than the multiple of employee contributions allowed under state statute. There has unfortunately been some confusion in the media on this point ahead of a...

05.28.14

Civic Federation Supports House Bill 1154, as Amended in Senate

On May 28, 2014, The Civic Federation sent this letter to Representitive Elaine Nekritz and the members of the House Personnel and Pensions Committee in advance of a 4 p.m. hearing on House Bill 1154. The Civic Federation commends Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County...

05.21.14

Why Aren’t Pension Benefit Reforms in Chicago and Cook County Decreasing Employer Pension Contributions?

Chicago and Cook County residents who followed the pension debate at the State of Illinois might be surprised by the fact that proposals for pension reform for the City of Chicago and Cook County and pension reform legislation enacted for the Chicago Park District all require increases to employer...