New legislation passed by the State of Illinois will allow the City of Chicago to designate special taxing districts and direct property tax revenues into infra- structure projects. It is hoped that tax-increment financing (TIF) will give the city enough funds to obtain matching federal funds for a host of trans- portation improvements, including the $2.1-billion modernization of the Red and Purple lines, an exten- sion of Red Line south of 95th Street, and upgrades at Union Station. The TIF legislation will continue to give 54% of increased revenues to schools, while 37% would go to transit projects, and 13% to libraries, parks, and other services. The legislation also gives the Mayor and City Council discretion to create dis- tricts for rail projects within a half-mile on each side of 46 miles of “L” tracks, and within a half-mile of the center of the Union Station building. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has indicated he will sign the bill.
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