* Let’s take a look at this Chicago Reader article about TIF districts and the budget situation…
Over the last few weeks Daley and Madigan have been getting kind of chummy. Daley pulled his support from the more generous tax relief plan of senate president Emil Jones and endorsed Madigan’s watered-down home owner’s property tax exemption. Why? According to statehouse sources it’s because Madigan agreed to support an extension of the Central Loop TIF, which was created in 1984 and is set to expire this year. What’s at stake? If the General Assembly extends it, it will continue pumping hundreds of millions of dollars a year in property taxes to a slush fund controlled by Daley for another 12 years.
That has been one of the rumors floating around, and Daley certainly does want the extension…
When Blagojevich figured out what Daley and Madigan were up to, he countered by calling in Cook County commissioner Mike Quigley, until then the only elected official who had dared to criticize TIFs.
Blagojevich convened a closed-door [leaders] meeting on June 20… Quigley laid out the flaws in Daley’s TIF programs
The problem was, as I pointed out in the Capitol Fax back then, Quigley had no actual legislative plan to counter the pro-TIF argument. Nothing was even drafted. So it was all an empty exercise, designed solely to pimp the mayor and Madigan. Great idea.
What will come of all this? Probably nothing, at least in terms of TIF reform. As one gubernatorial aide told me, “If Daley and the aldermen want to shoot themselves in the head, it’s not our problem.” Madigan’s spokesman, Steve Brown, who attended the meeting, was openly contemptuous of Blagojevich and Quigley and called the session a waste of time. “It’s another day in Rod Wonderland,” says Brown. “It reminds me of a Bible-study thing where the minister comes in and talks about his favorite scripture.”
So, the governor won’t come out and oppose Daley’s TIF extension or get behind any TIF reforms. Instead, his main purpose was to gin up stories like this.
And everyone wonders why we’re still in overtime session.
* More overtime reports…
* July budget waiting, but wrangling continues
* Editorial: Air Blagojevich
* Bethany Carson: Moving right along, for now