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The battle over the massive $6 billion Lincoln Yards development is far from over. We discuss the controversial project with Aneel Chablani, chief counsel of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, and 2nd Ward Ald. Brian Hopkins.

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(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

The city of Chicago could be in line for a giant windfall of tax revenue, just in time to face down a $700 million budget gap.

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A rendering of the Lincoln Yards development.

After months of debate, the controversial $1 billion public subsidy for Lincoln Yards is now law. City Council approved the measure hours after Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot softened her opposition to the project.

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An artist’s rendering of the Lincoln Yards master plan released in January 2019. (Courtesy Sterling Bay)

An obscure city commission voted Tuesday to approve a $900 million tax increment financing district that will help fund infrastructure upgrades for the proposed $6 billion Lincoln Yards development.

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The governor says Chicago could solve a lot of CPS’ financial problems by getting rid of TIF districts, but the mayor and other budget watchdogs say that doing away with them could actually cost public schools money.

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“The kids of the city of Chicago will be in school to the end of the school year. That is where they belong,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Friday. (Chicago Tonight)

Chicago Public Schools will stay open until June 22, the end of the regular school year, instead of closing early on June 1. “You will be in school until the end of the school year. We will be here working to find the resources,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

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Why the City Council on Wednesday voted unanimously to create a massive TIF district to fund the CTA.

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(Parents 4 Teachers)

A proposed change to city law that could divert tens of millions in tax incremental financing (TIF) dollars to the cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools will likely undergo some additional changes before it comes to City Council for approval.

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Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool speaks on Aug. 8 about cash-strapped district's proposed 2017 budget. On Friday, Claypool attended a pair of public hearings on the proposal.

Nearly two dozen speakers attended a pair of hearings Friday to voice their concerns about the district's proposed 2017 budget, questioning the morality and legality of funding cuts and staff layoffs within the cash-strapped district.

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Just a day after Gov. Bruce Rauner and Republican leaders in the General Assembly proposed a state takeover of the financially distressed Chicago Public Schools, lawmakers propose altering the TIF legislation to allow a surplus to be spent on the district. 

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This month Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he plans to wind down seven Tax Increment Financing Districts located near downtown. Critics of the move say he’s hanging downtown out to dry, but others say this is a first step toward taxing transparency. We’ll hear from Crain’s Chicago Business columnist Greg Hinz and Tom Tresser of the TIF Illumination Project.

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Cook County Clerk David Orr has unveiled an online TIF mapping tool. He stops by Chicago Tonight to explain how the interactive tool works and more.

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There may be a painless way to solve pensions without raising property taxes that is sitting right before the mayor's eyes. Paris Schutz breaks it down for us. Read a response from Mayor Emanuel's office. 

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City finance wonks, and anyone else interested in Tax Increment Financing (TIFs), have a new site to search for projects across Chicago. Read an article.

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Carole Brown. Image Credit: kellogg.northwestern.edu

Mayor Rahm Emanuel calls for reform of the Tax Increment Financing, or TIF program. A task force report calls for more transparency and oversight. Carole Brown, the head of that task force, joins us to lay out the plan.

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