ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL — As the Chicago Bears continue their campaign to build a taxpayer-funded football stadium in Arlington Heights, a new draft piece of legislation reportedly cues up a path forward for the multi-billion dollar corporate welfare deal. Americans for Prosperity-Illinois Deputy State Director Brian Costin released the following statement on the news:
“In a state that’s known for corruption and insider deals, it’s enormously dangerous to set up a new program in which lobbyists and politicians can negotiate special property tax reductions for billionaire mega developers behind closed doors. The Chicago Bears are trying to use their power to protect billionaires and big businesses – not hardworking Illinois taxpayers.
“The PILT proposal will result in higher property taxes for the small business owners and residents who don’t have access to the special program. All businesses in Illinois should be treated equally before the law. This legislation is just the most recent instance of the troubling trend of Illinois giving special handouts to mega-developers and our state deserves better.”
AFP-IL sent a FOIA request to the Village of Arlington Heights in September
A recent poll found that a majority of voters oppose the Chicago Bear’s corporate welfare in Arlington Heights
The Bears’ proposal includes massive new residential development and the responsibility of educating hundreds or thousands of new students. This project would place enormous financial pressures on local school districts as well as other overlapping taxing bodies in Cook County.
A proposed $5B development in a TIF district with a starting value of under $200 million would allow more than 96% of the project’s property taxes to be swept away for the purpose of corporate welfare. If such a TIF district were in place today it would be the largest revenue-collecting TIF district in the State of Illinois by a significant margin, potentially collecting nearly $200 million in new property taxes every year.