Heartland’s Steve Stanek questions Government Relations Director John Nothdurft about the new Cook County debt report that just about knocked him out of his seat. Nothdurft worked with Sheila Weinberg, President and CEO of the Institute for Truth in Accounting to uncover the shocking numbers that politicians don’t dare say out loud.
Cook County hosts 518 taxing districts and 5.2 million people, including the city of Chicago. The financial burden of all these districts adds up $34 billion, or a staggering average $17,000 per household. In a couple select neighborhoods that number just gets ridiculous, reaching over $200,000 and $300,000 per household.
The biggest problem is the Chicago area’s liberal use of tax increment financing (TIF) districts. That means taking out huge bonds to develop an area, betting that increased tax revenues will pay those bonds off in the future. Obviously, it doesn’t always work out.
Ever hear of California’s infamously bankrupt City of Stockton? Listen to the podcast and discover how Chicago has 13 municipalities that can top it.[Subscribe to the Heartland Daily Podcast free at this link.]