Give TIF money to schools, not Hyatt corporate welfare
Submitted by arlenegloria on Tue, 08/07/2012 - 18:25
Join PDA Chicago as we stand with the Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign to protest public tax money going to corporate welfare.
$5.2 million of property taxes intended for our public schools is going to Hyatt Hotels, a company that doesn't need it. No more corporate welfare!
The Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign (CTSC) demand:
- The billionaires on the unelected Chicago Board of Education return the TIF (tax increment financing) money taken from the schools and use it for education .
- Penny Pritzker resign from the board due conflicts of interests.
- Chicago move to an elected school board.
Hyatt Hotel heiress Penny Pritzker was appointed to the unelected Chicago Board of Education by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Instead of going to neighborhood schools, the money is being taken from parents and teachers' property taxes in a $5.2 million TIF (Tax Increment Financing) scheme for a Hyatt hotel at 53rd and Lake Park asked for by the University of Chicago.
The U of C ($6.6 billion) and Penny ($1.8 billion) have over $8 billion together and can afford to build their own hotel without robbing the community and defunding local schools.
(Read CTSC statement below.)
Statement from Chicago Teacher's Solidarity Campaign:
The board's proposed CPS 2013 budget targets seven neighborhood public schools (Dyett high school, Kenwood Academy, Canter middle school, Reavis Elementary, Burke elementary, Ray school, Kozminski Academy) around the Hyatt TIF for defunding to the amount of $3,379,677, at a loss of 27 positions.
If this TIF wasn't here, 62% of the same property taxes paid by the community would automatically go to schools. Interestingly, 62% of $5.2 million is very close to this $3.37 million funding hole. But Hyatt Hotel is only one part of the $20 million Harper Court renovation from the 53rd Street TIF founded in 2001.
With 62% of that money, we could hire more teachers and reduce class sizes. Instead, the University of Chicago is getting a 12 story office building. The Chicago Board of Education should be fighting to return that money to our schools, not waiting in line for a handout from the Mayor for their private business.
TIFs are supposed to be for economic development in depressed areas. Instead they are being raided by the rich for their pet projects.