A massive property tax hike, driven by Rahm Emanuel, to help pay police and fire pensions. The real question, where did the prior earmarked money go? Forbes provides us an update on the tax and its recommended implementation.
Mayor Rahm’s Next Move: A $543 Million Property Tax Hike – Forbes
By year’s end, the city of Chicago must produce $550 million to pay into its police and fire pension funds. Given the inability to reform these retirement systems, Mayor Rahm Emanuel must raise about this much through taxes, fees and fines to avoid another downgrade. This morning, he told city council how he planned to do it–through the city’s largest-ever property tax increase.
Around 10am, the mayor unveiled a 2016 budget that included a $543 million property tax hike, to be raised over 4 years. This will include a 12% increase on residential properties–and an even larger increase on commercial properties–valued at $250,000 or more. Properties valued at under that amount will be exempt. The plan would also create a variety of new fees, including on ridesharing, taxis, surgary drinks, and garbage pickup. There will also be a special $45 million tax for public schools continued
As Mayor Rahm Emanuel warned, pubic employee unions’ unwillingness to reform their pension benefits has led to higher taxes, fees and fines for Chicagoans.