Alderwoman calls for probe of alleged TIF money diversion
Chicago 3rd Ward Ald. Pat Dowell wants a public hearing on accusations that tax increment financing (TIF) funding intended for a hotel development on the near South Side went to Navy Pier renovations.
"I have been blindsided by this administration and the Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority and its outrageous actions,” Dowell said in a statement, according to the Better Government Association (BGA). “I am demanding that the City Council conduct public hearings to reveal the real story behind this misuse of our residents' tax dollars. The administration and the MPEA must be held accountable.”
The allegations were made following a joint investigation between the BGA and Crain’s Business Chicago, which uncovered emails from top Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority (MPEA) executives suggesting that the $55 million in TIF funding that it received for its development of the hotel project enabled the authority to invest $55 million in renovations for the Navy Pier.
"With such scarce resources in our city, it is our responsibility to distribute those resources appropriately within the statute,” Dowell said in her statement, the BGA reports. "I have acted in good faith throughout the process to use TIF money to promote economic development in the 3rd Ward.