One of the most lucrative schemes milked by these developers and perfected in Chicago is a mechanism called tax increment financing. When I worked in Seattle covering corporate welfare and city government, I became strange bedfellows with a diverse alliance of libertarians and Ralph Naderites who rightly oppose "public-private partnership" deals between developers, statist Democrats and corporate welfare Republican politicians. These "public-private partnership" scams inevitably involve tax increment financing gimmickry to siphon off tax dollars to subsidize developers/builders/contractors, who then reward politicians with big campaign donations.
TIF schemes totaling hundreds of millions of tax dollars were at the heart of the Obama/Daley/Pritzker Chicago Olympics bid. And a huge franchise of Pritzker's Hyatt Hotels Corp. was the beneficiary of a $5.2 million TIF subsidy approved by Chicago Dems last year. It's part of a massive redevelopment project with the Obamas' hometown University of Chicago that robs local schools to subsidize well-connected corporations.
Don't take my word for it. As a radical leftwing local activist put it: "It's not fighting economic blight; it's a way of taking from everyone and giving to the 1 percent." From Chicago to Chicago on the Potomac, it's dirty statist business as usual.
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