The Grassroots Collaborative recently introduced the Responsible Budget Ordinance (RBO), which presents a plan to return hundreds of millions of dollars to the city’s budget, schools, parks, and libraries; thus, helping to address the enormous budget crises facing Chicago with a revenue solution over job cuts.
Although Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced he would return 20 percent of unallocated Tax Increment Financing funds totaling $60 Million back to the taxing bodies, the Collaborative argues this is clearly not enough when United Airlines alone received $30 Million from the City‘s Slush Fund.
The Grassroots Collaborative position’s is that it would be irresponsible to let these funds sit idle in TIF accounts while teachers are fired, library hours are cut, and park program fees rise.
Unused property tax dollars in TIF districts could be freed to increase the real estate value in blighted communities, by investing in public projects or business development in the areas that need it most.
Reserving the money as a surplus, also known as the City’s Slush Fund, has gravely impacted Chicago Public Schools, Libraries, and Health Department.
This “Slush Fund Brain Freeze” is more than less agony for Chicago children and working families. The money sits instead of being invested to create conditions for future revenue gains in under served areas of the city.
Call or contact your alderman before Nov. 14th and ask them to support the Responsible Budgets Ordinance to send city money back to our schools and libraries.