CMAP Media Tip Sheet, 12-2-14

CMAP Media Tip Sheet

December 2, 2014

This tip sheet briefly summarizes newsworthy activities of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). Reporters should contact Justine Reisinger (312-386-8802 and or Hillary Green (312-386-8619 and for more information.

Significant freight growth anticipated for Chicago region through 2040

Metropolitan Chicago benefits significantly from its status as the nation's leading freight hub, yet the region faces related issues of congestion, outdated infrastructure, complex governance, and inadequate funding. A series of CMAP Policy Updates will analyze freight flows, trends, and challenges, building on the agency's regional economic indicators.  The first piece provides data on current and projected freight flows directly into and out of the Chicago region, which is expected to grow from over 935 million tons worth $1.3 trillion in 2012 to an estimated 1.4 billion tons worth $3 trillion in 2040. Upcoming posts will discuss the rising trend of intermodalism, as well as efforts to support the regional freight cluster.

Cook County seeks residents' input for strategic planning effort

The public can provide feedback on the draft of Planning for Progress, Cook County's strategic five-year plan to guide funding requests, investments, and partnerships for affordable housing and community and economic development through December 5.  Cook residents can comment via the CMAP project web page, email to, or mail to Jennifer Miller, Program Manager, Cook County Department of Planning and Development, 69 West Washington, Suite 2900, Chicago, IL 60602.  Cook developed its plan in partnership with the CMAP Local Technical Assistance program.  The project page includes details of two public workshops in South Cook on November 19 in East Hazel Crest and in Chicago on November 20.

New resource helps municipalities address demographic changes

CMAP's latest toolkit helps to support local governments in engaging immigrant communities on issues that are fundamental to improving the region's quality of life and economic prosperity. The toolkit features a variety of ways communities have successfully addressed immigrant integration locally through improved health outcomes, economic mobility, and civic participation to create a culture of inclusiveness. The resource was developed through CMAP's Local Ordinance and Toolkits program in partnership with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and the Latino Policy Forum.

Property tax classification discourages non-residential development

Because it drives high commercial and industrial property tax rates in many communities, the use of property tax classification in Cook County undermines efforts to strengthen these types of non-residential development. A recent CMAP Policy Update builds on prior analysis, describing the effects of classification on Cook property tax rates. As recommended by GO TO 2040 and reinforced by the Regional Tax Policy Task Force, CMAP continues to study how property tax assessment classification in the region may impede business development and economic activity. Lower property tax rates for businesses, especially in border communities, could help the county and region compete more effectively for economic development opportunities.