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CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel is reaffirming his opposition to raising taxes to close the City of Chicago’s $635.7 million budget shortfall.
As WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, while Emanuel endorses the property tax increase the Chicago Public Schools will use to help close their $700 million budget gap, he is reassuring the public he will not tap the taxpayers to balance the city budget.
He says that budget needs structural changes.
“I’ve taken one-time fixes off the table. I’ve made clear that I’m not going to raise taxes on taxpayers. They do feel nickel-and-dimed,” he said. “But we’re going to make the fundamental changes that are necessary to this budget so it’s on a more stable path.”
Retired Mayor Richard M. Daley was criticized for “one-time fixes” for the budget, such as instituting furlough days for city employees. But most notorious was the $1.16 billion parking meter lease in 2008, which is in effect for 75 years, but which was used in large part to plug the budget gap in 2010.
But the mayor says we need to face hard truths.
Emanuel has asked Chicago residents to submit suggestions for the budget, which are being solicited at ChicagoBudget.org. Suggestions include cutting the number of aldermen and their paychecks, eliminating the security details and city vehicles for elected officials and going truly paperless.