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Proposed West Humboldt Park SSA Public Meeting Nia Center. May 1, 2013. Outline. Karen J. Forté , City of Chicago SSA Overview Chet Jackson, WHPDC Planned 2014 services and budget Jewell Walton & Geoff Dickinson, SB Friedman Financial Analyses. SSA #49 South Shore &.

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  • Karen J. Forté, City of Chicago
    • SSA Overview
  • Chet Jackson, WHPDC
    • Planned 2014 services and budget
  • Jewell Walton & Geoff Dickinson, SB Friedman
    • Financial Analyses

SSA #49 South Shore &

Special Service Areas (SSAs)

Andrew J. MooneyCommissioner


What is an SSA?

Special real estate taxing district, not an agency

The City as the taxing body contracts with entities to administer SSA programs

Funds additional services beyond the City’s general services in a defined district

Tax % rate applied to EAV generates levy is DIFFERENT than the tax % increase on a tax bill from the SSA tax

Enabled through state statute and city ordinance

Called BIDs (Business Improvement Districts) in other cities; BIDs used worldwide



  • A good ROI
  • Be smarter about sanitation services
  • Help police reduce crime
  • Help ex-offender re-entry
  • Lease vacancies
  • Support manufacturers
  • Offer free wifi in SSAs
  • Bring new visitors to Chicago
  • Focus community advocacy & leadership
  • Master planning
  • Create accountability with taxing privilege
  • Create more desirable neighborhoods
  • Leverage City resources, both financial and human

Current & New SSAs

  • 47 active SSAs
  • 40 Service Provider Agencies
  • 350+ Commissioners
  • Oldest SSA created in 1977
  • 70% increase in last 10 years
  • 2013 Budgets = $27 million



City Council (legislative)



SSA Commission (advisory)

Dept. of Law

City Comptroller



Other City Depts.

SSA Bank Acct

Service Provider Agreement

Service Provider Agency (Management/Admin)



Typical Authorized Services

  • maintenance and beautification activities
  • new construction (e.g. minor streetscape improvements)
  • coordinated marketing and promotional activities
  • parking and transit programs
  • area strategic planning
  • business retention/recruitment initiatives
  • building rehab activities (façade)
  • security services
  • other technical assistance activities to promote community and economic development.

Work plans assembled annually from this list.


Parking /Transit/Accessibility

SSA #10 Back of the Yards

SSA #2 Belmont-Central

SSA #5 Commercial Ave.


Safety & Security

  • Types of security:
    • Foot Patrol
    • Surveillance Cameras
    • Store Security Rebates
    • Cell Phones for CPD
    • Coordination w/CAPS
ssa fund mechanism common terms
SSA Fund Mechanism: Common Terms
  • Tax Rate Cap (citywide average: 0.50%)
  • Annual Tax Rate (% may vary annually)
  • EAV (Equalized Assessed Value set by County)
  • Levy (citywide range:$60k - $1.3 million; ave. $250k)
  • Carry Over (unspent and/or previous years taxes)

Budget = Levy + Carry Over

Example: $300,000 = $270,000 = $30,000

Levy = Tax Rate x EAV

Example: $270,000 = 0.45% x $60 million (tax cap is 0.50%)


Key Legislation for SSAs

  • Illinois State Statute: SSA Tax Law
  • City Ordinances
  • Open Meetings Act
  • Freedom of Information Act
  • Governmental Ethics Ordinance

Legislation – City Ordinances

  • Establishment Ordinance
    • Boundaries
    • Term
    • Tax Rate Cap
    • Commission: Qualifications, Appointment, Powers
    • Authorizes HED to enter into Mgmt. Agreement
  • Levy Ordinance
    • Annual levy and associated tax rate
    • Budget (levy + carry-over)
  • Management Agreement Ordinance
  • Illinois Statute: SSA Tax Law
  • City Ordinances
  • Open Meetings Act
  • Freedom of Information Act

Legislation – Service Provider Agreement

  • Empowers agency to deliver services/spend funds
  • Annual services and budget
  • Commission approves expenditures and subcontracts
  • Performance standards
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Contract Default
    • HED Commissioner issues notice to improve
    • If no improvement, Provider subject to sanctions & termination
  • Illinois Statute: SSA Tax Law
  • City Ordinances
  • Open Meetings Act
  • Freedom of Information Act

Legislation – Open Meetings Act

  • Public Notice
    • Beginning each year, prepare and give notice of meeting schedule
    • Agenda posted at Agency office and mtg. location 48 hours before mtg.
    • 10-day notice in newspaper required for meeting changes
  • Meeting Minutes
    • Meeting defined as gathering of majority of quorum of Commissioners
    • Include meeting date, time and place
    • Record Commissioners as present or absent
    • Summary of discussion on all matters proposed, deliberated, or decided, and record of any votes taken
    • Approved minutes open to public within 7 days
    • No SSA business can be done via email
  • Illinois Statute: SSA Tax Law
  • City Ordinances
  • Open Meetings Act
  • Freedom of Information Act

Legislation – Freedom of Information Act

  • Public Records
    • reports, maps, letters, etc. received by the Commission
    • info in SSA related accounts, contracts, etc.
    • Exempt: invasions of personal privacy, personnel records, RFP prep, and actual bids/proposals until awarded
    • Service Provider records requested/archived by City
  • FOIA Requests
    • Submitted to HED or Commission, NOT the Agency
    • 7 days to reply
    • If info is readily available, provider should cooperate w/o a FOIA request

From the Chicago Tribune

  • Illinois Statute: SSA Tax Law
  • City Ordinances
  • Open Meetings Act
  • Freedom of Information Act

Governance - SSA Commissions

  • 47 SSA Commissions
  • Seats range from 6 to 16; ave. 9
  • Typically meet quarterly
  • Executive seats typically Chair, Secretary, Treasurer
  • No more than 1/3 of Commissioners should also serve as Agency Board Members due to need for recusal – no overlap is recommended

Governance - SSA Commissions

  • Establishment Ordinance creates Commissions
    • Extension of, not separate from, the City
    • Name of Commissions
    • Number of seats and term lengths for each commission
    • Appointment process
    • Chairperson term lengths
  • Establishment Ordinance lists Commission powers
    • To Recommend Annually:
      • Services
      • Budget
      • Service Provider

Governance - SSA Commission Bylaws

  • Establishment Ordinance authorizes creating bylaws for procedural operation
  • SSA Ordinances supercede SSA bylaws
  • Separate/distinct from Agency bylaws
  • Negotiable items for each SSA:
    • Executive seats
    • Mtg frequency beyond Open Mtgs Act (semi-annually)
    • Attendance requirements
    • Voting
    • Committees
    • Amending bylaws

Management – Service Providers

  • 42 Service Providers (Agencies)
    • 30 Chambers or Business Associations
    • - 3 Development Corporations
    • 3 Industrial Organizations
    • 5 Human or Civic Service Organizations
  • All are non-profits
  • Staffing scenarios to manage the SSA:
    • Executive Director only or part of their time
    • Shared Agency/SSA staff person
    • FT SSA Program Manager
    • Multiple staff support
    • Outsourced administration

Vetting Overview

  • Commissioner
    • Dept. of Finance (DOF) Debt checks
    • Dept. of Consumer Services (DOCS) Child Support Indebtedness Checks
    • City & County Boards of Ethics Stmts of Financial Interest (mailed to commissioner after appointment)
    • Aldermanic & Mayor’s Office Application Review
  • Service Provider
    • DOF & DOCS checks on President, Treasurer, Ex. Dir.
    • EDS for Agency Organization – list SSA subcontractors
    • Proof of Agency Organization in Good Standing with State
2014 ssa creation timeline
2014 SSA Creation Timeline

Research & Consensus Building

SSA Application Submittal

Ordinances & Commission Appts.

County Filing & Recording

Tax Levy Collected/ Distributed

SSA Begins

Jan 2014

Winter 2012

June 2013

Oct-Dec 2013

By Dec 2013

Fall 2014

making the ssa a reality
Making the SSA a reality
  • Local champions
  • Vision & Mission for the corridors
  • Coordinated SSA Development Plan
  • Financial support (reimbursable SSA cost)
mission vision statements
Mission & Vision Statements*

MISSION: The West Humboldt Park Development Council, Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr, and vested business and property owners, have combined their resources, in order to foster commercial revitalization, economic development and create a bold vision for the Chicago Avenue corridor and West Humboldt Park. The goal of West Humboldt Park Special Service Area (SSA) is to position the Chicago Avenue commercial corridor as a desirable, safe, pedestrian-friendly destination, which will attract residents and visitors more frequently, attract new businesses and commercial development, strengthen existing businesses, and improve the overall quality of life.

VISION: The West Humboldt Park Special Service Area is being created to promote and encourage investment and revitalization along the Chicago Avenue commercial corridor. It is funded through a special property tax levy to provide supplemental programs and services to the area that are above and beyond the services provided by the City of Chicago. The general boundary of the SSA includes both sides of Chicago Avenue between Albany on the east to Karlov on the west.

Planned SSA services include maintenance programs, marketing campaigns, security, and other improvements that would benefit the commercial district. These services support efforts to promote investment and revitalization along the Chicago Avenue commercial corridor and to improve the overall quality of life in West Humboldt Park.

SSA funding is controlled and directed locally by an SSA Commission comprised of local business and/or property owners. All funding stays within the SSA for local direct benefit.


chicago avenue existing conditions
Chicago Avenue Existing Conditions
  • Currently Chicago Avenue exhibits a need for increased clean-up, security, and investment.

Chicago & Sawyer

Chicago & St Louis

chicago avenue existing conditions1
Chicago Avenue Existing Conditions
  • Currently Chicago Avenue exhibits a need for increased clean-up, security, and investment.
  • Chicago & Hamlin

Chicago & Homan

sample 3 year ssa budget
Sample 3-Year SSA Budget

$115,000 with 3% annual increase

proposed ssa parcels and eav
Proposed SSA Parcels and EAV

262 total parcels

Parcel Distribution

EAV Distribution

total tax base and tif impacts
Total tax base and TIF impacts
  • 2011 Total EAV
    • $15.3 million
  • 2011 TIF Base EAV
    • $9.9 million
  • Because the SSA is 100% in TIF districts, SSA revenues can only collected from the TIF Base EAV
ssa effects on tax bill
SSA Effects on Tax Bill

Total Taxes due will increase by approx. 20% next year.

In this example, Total Taxes Due would be $5,742

An additional line will be added for the SSA with a rate of 1.159% and a maximum rate of 1.500%.

In this example, taxes for the SSA would be $1,007.

Total tax rate would increase to 6.614%.

Each installment would be approx. 20% higher.

Major areas of 2014 spending at $115,000 budget

Safety programs

Cleaning/public way maintenance

Leverage source for grants etc.

Future budgets

Refine future budgets based on stakeholder feedback

Plan to hold line of vendors as possible

Some start up costs go away

Potential future SSA services


Façade rebate program (coupledwith SBIF)