CITY HALL — Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled a new informational website on Tax Increment Financing districts just as an aldermanic initiative on the same issue was about to reach a City Council committee.
Emanuel debuted a "TIF portal" Friday to post information on TIF districts. That includes a citywide map and a description of the purpose of the district, along with information on projects approved by the council and other TIF fund distributions.
"This critical reform will strengthen the transparency and accountability involved in TIF projects, and will help the city focus programs on job creation and economic development," Emanuel said.
It's similar to measures proposed in April by Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th). Yet Pawar's so-called TIF accountability ordinance would go further, posting online details such as what promises developers make on hiring, as well as how much in property and sales taxes is diverted in the districts.
"What this does is make the promises public," Pawar said at the time. "We just want to see what you get in exchange for that public benefit."
Pawar's ordinance was to go before the Finance Committee Friday. It could still broaden the scope of the mayor's new TIF portal, and Pawar said his proposals could be added to that online framework.
"They're gonna work in tandem," he said before Friday's committee meeting. "The portal I think is great. What we're trying to do is add on to the portal."
Pawar said his ordinance, if passed, would take effect in 2014, allowing ample time for the TIF portal to be adapted.