Ald.Walter Burnett Quits Chair of City Council Black Caucus Over TIF Dispute
Ald. Walter Burnett (27th) resigned Wednesday as chairman of the City Council’s Black Caucus amid dissension in the ranks fueled by his demand to set aside 20 percent of the city’s tax-increment financing funds (TIF) for affordable housing.
Top mayoral aides have argued that the 20 percent set-aside — roughly $100 million in 2010 — would tie the city’s hands when it comes to using TIF dollars to build schools, libraries, police and fire stations and offering subsidies to lure business development.
Burnett’s Black Caucus colleagues have made similar arguments. They also fear that the so-called “Sweet Home Chicago” mandate to build affordable housing could drive the middle class out of their wards, just as the CHA’s Plan for Transformation has led to increased crime.