CITY HALL — Business leaders using city development funds would have to reveal something of themselves — namely, their salaries — under a new ordinance proposed this week.
Aldermen Edward Burke (14th) and William Burns (4th) have put forth the Executive Compensation Disclosure Ordinance. It calls on businesses applying to draw on Tax Increment Finance funds to reveal how much their top executives earn.
"Companies that grossly overpay their top executives are simply not deserving of public subsidies," Burke said. "This data would be very useful in helping the members of the City Council weed out such requests."
"This proposal would also provide the general public with greater transparency," Burns added.
The ordinance was inspired by a new rule proposed by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, which is considering requiring all public companies nationwide to include such disclosures in their annual reports and registration statements.
The proposed Chicago ordinance would require businesses to disclose "the ratio of top executive compensation to the median compensation of the employees of publicly traded companies."
According to data compiled by the Bloomberg financial news agency, chief executive officers at eight major U.S. companies were paid more than 1,000 times the salary of the average employee.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is reviewing the ordinance, according to spokesman Tom Alexander. The Emanuel administration has moved to make more TIF information public, in reaction to aldermanic initiatives.
The proposed ordinance was assigned to the Finance Committee, which Burke heads as chairman.