After the dispute in Wisconsin, it is hard to believe that school teachers and Tea Party members would ever agree on anything. But 150 teachers and other school advocates held a protest march in Chicago demanding an end to tax-increment financing (TIF)–something that most Tea Partiers would readily agree to.
The protesters noted that half of the $500 million going into Chicago TIF districts would otherwise go to schools, and they demanded that one TIF district business owner–a Cadillac dealer that received more than $8 million in TIF subsidies–write them a check for $4 million. The business owner asked police to arrest them instead.
TIF advocates noted that TIF really didn’t cost the school districts anything. Under Illinois law, the schools prepare their budgets and tax rates are set sufficient to fund those budgets. The people TIF hurts are taxpayers who must pay higher rates to keep the schools running since some of the money that would have funded schools is going to subsidize developers instead. So maybe the teachers union and other groups that organized this protest should contact the Illinois Tea Party to gain their support.