Report: City Of Chicago In Serious Budget Mess

A new report by an independent research group outlines the financial crisis facing Chicago’s next mayor and City Council.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports, Civic Federation President Laurence Msall says the next administration will inherit a financial mess.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports

“We have charted overspending by the City Council and the current administration,”
Msall said. “Going back well beyond the recession, the city has been spending more by borrowing, by selling assets, and using the proceeds to prop up the operating expenses. That’s not sustainable.”

Msall said after the Chicago Skyway and parking meter lease deals, there is little left to sell.

“This city’s track record in selling assets, or using long-term lease proceeds to prop up the operating budget, is not sustainable; is not something recommended in this report,” Msall said. “There are other opportunities for privatization.”

Msall says there is no magic bullet to deal with a shortfall estimated between $500 million and $650 million. The city will have to cut costs significantly, and raise revenues.

  • Common Sense

    No $hit, but not with the idiots that get voted in here.

  • George Andrews

    We don’t need 50 aldermen, cut it down to 25 and save money….

    • Jose

      See, you’re intelligent. You’re not blaming this on immigrants, you’re blaming the cities over-paid city officials. Good thinking!

    • kevinw

      Right on George

    • Fred

      Besides the Aldermen, there’s a ton of “middle management” type city jobs that really serve no purpose. Aldermen make $110,000 a year, not counting their “menu money” and staff costs. Scrutinize there – if you can’t cut, at least get your money’s worth. Also – NO PENSIONS for elected officials.

  • Jack Hamilton

    Wow, you mean when I go to Walgreens at night and see a bunch of cops hanging out, reading mags, trying to pick up girls. The city can’t afford that? Wow! Amazing! I can’t believe it!

  • kevinw

    I’m not saying it’s all roses anywhere else, but my family and I are happily leaving cook county, and hopefully leaving illinois. It is only second to NJ as the most embarrassing place to be from. Everyone in politics here is, or should be in jail.

  • Roberta Waker

    Maybe if they deported a couple of million illegals they wouldn’t have such a budget mess. Illegals cost us MILLIONS of dollars with their freeloading, especially when they send what they do earn back to Mexico. None of the mayoral candidates will talk about the illegals in Chicago and this state; but THEY are the reason we are in financial trouble. Wake up Chicago!

    • Jose

      Roberta, you’re an idiot. Plain and simple. Illegals are keeping small businesses booming in this failing city. They take less pay for more work, which is something NO ONE would ever do.

      What freeloading are you talking about, exactly? My family and all the families I have ever known in Cicero and throughout the city have never gotten on welfare. In fact, I’ve seen more trailer trash families on stamps, Wic and Link than anyone else in the city!

      If you continue to blame Mexicans, you’ll never realize its the CEO’s of Wal-Mart, and McDonalds, etc. collecting all the bonuses and profitable margins, and hiring more and more illegals with the money they’re earning from profit.

      On a side note; I work in a hospital handling all the billing and I know first-hand that American companies like United HealthCare, Humana, PHCS, and other smaller third party payer insurance companies outsource all their call centers to India, Filipines, and Indonesia. Shouldn’t we blame them instead? I think we should. I can’t understand them over the phone and I speak 3 languages.

      Do you even work in an environment where theres “illegals” or are you putting your 2 cents in from out somewhere in Boonville Springs, IL next to the place where God lost his sandals? Grow up, dumb ass. If you don’t have any credible statistical sources for your “facts”, then I think you should sit back down on that worn out office chair of yours and finish eating your old bag of Doritos.

      Anyone who agrees with this moron should be ashamed of themselves. I’m not hiding either like the rest of these wussy internet tough guys. E-mail me if you’re that concerned.

    • tired of stoopidities

      Roberta, you are right. Let’s wake up and throw them all out. Prepare to pay more at restaurants and the like though because who does the dishes there? And suddenly we can’t afford our landscapers either. So turn off Amer Idol and mow your own lawn. Higher prices on restaurant meals lead to higher sales taxes – are you ready? Can’t pay McDonalds w/food stamps.

      Plus, immigration is a federal issue. An small-town AZ mayor can blah-blah about it, but it’s childish to even raise the issue in Chicago.

  • Truth

    Your wrong Corporate welfare is the problem- For every Penny you give in a social program a thousand is given to some big corporations who outsource to china that includes financial and insurance companies- they ALL made recorded profits. while we suffer in this economy. ask yourself why? The new Congress where are the jobs.

    • tiny tim

      Corporate welfare is the problem for Chicago? Wow, I guess the 40% in taxes plus the additional city taxes aren’t enough for each corporation to pay out for the city. After all Chicago has done for them, they should pay more in taxes. Have you ever taken a business class in your life? A business that runs lean on taxes stays in business, a business that keeps paying higher taxes goes out of business or relocates – Plain and simple. Why do you think there haven’t been more fortune 100 and 500 companies building in Chicago? They’ve actually moved out of downtown because of the high taxes and because its unsustainable for a business. Take Sears Roebuck as an example, they’ve been in Hoffman Estates for decades to dodge the ridiculous taxes this city cripples a business with. How about looking at all the racketeering that goes on with the politics in this city. Politicians pay unions to be on the city payroll and fix city infrastructure and buildings. The unions in turn pay the politicians back by donating money to their re-elections and the cycle never ends. They are the ones costing this city high taxes, when a garbage man or CTA operator makes more than me and has a better pension, that comes back to why we can’t balance a budget for city jobs in the city. If you privatized most of the jobs on the city payroll and took out unions, that budget would mysteriously balance or have a surplus for the first time in 40 years.

      • Jose

        Brilliant. You should seriously write an article and make our pal Roberta up above somewhere understand a little bit more about the economics of this city. Her stupidity seriously made my stomach turn.

    • Gee-reg

      We outsource to CHina because the people there have to work unlike here where the government pays people to do nothing all day but sit around smoke cigarettes, dope and drink their 40 oz bottles and then complain that the man won’t gives me a job. Too much free government money to people to do zero their whole usless life. I’m all for helping the handicapp and elderly but not for some lazy female to have 10 kids by 10 different baby daddies and some lazy male to do nothing but get those females pregnant but say he be too tired to look for work

      • Jose

        A little biased here, but I see your point! Bad way to hide your demographics haha!

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