By Chicago (CBS)
Chicago aldermen, students, teachers, and activists were demanding Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Navy Pier return $55 million in tax increment financing diverted from a project to build a hotel near McCormick Place.
An investigation by the Better Government Association and Crain’s Chicago Business found $55 million in TIF money that was earmarked for land acquisition for a new hotel near McCormick Place was shifted to pay for renovations at Navy Pier. TIF dollars are supposed to be used for projects to combat urban blight.
Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), whose ward includes McCormick Place, has called for City Council hearings, and other aldermen also voiced their outrage on Monday.
Tax increment financing allows the city to divert a portion of property tax revenue in designated areas on projects to promote development in struggling communities. After learning $55 million in TIF money had been used for renovations at the city’s most popular tourist attraction, aldermen were downright offended.