City Budget Means Higher Fees; Had Enough?

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago now has an official city budget for 2012 – a plan that calls for spending more than $6 billion. But to wipe out some red ink, several city fees and other charges will go up.

It’ll cost you more to buy a city vehicle sticker. Water bills will also go up, as will monthly parking at downtown lots and garages.

CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports on one family that’s had enough.

Joyce Woodfolk, a retired nurse, said she lies awake at night, worrying about money.

“I do, I do. I’m awake … I’m lucky if I sleep two, three hours at a time,” she said.

Her husband, Bill, is a retired department store buyer.

The Hyde Park couple is trying to make do on Social Security payments of a few thousand dollars a month. They’re more than a little miffed at Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s $6.3 billion budget, passed unanimously on Wednesday by the City Council.

In the discussion of the budget before Wednesday’s vote, Ald. Ed Burke (14th), who led the so-called “Stop Rahm” movement during the mayoral race earlier this year, told his fellow aldermen, “Let us give this mayor a vote of confidence as he leads this city.”

But Bill complained, “We have to pay more for our water, we have to pay more for our sticker … and we don’t have a way to increase our income, but yet the City Council and mayor have a way to increase our expenses.”


The budget passed on Wednesday creates $120 a year increases in the average homeowner’s water and sewer bills and $10 to $15 hikes in vehicle sticker fees. Further, a new “congestion fee” for parking in downtown garages could add up to hundreds of dollars a year for people who pay for downtown parking on a monthly basis.

Asked how to handle the higher fees in the budget, Bill said, “Try and vote ‘em out; those who are not doing the right thing.”

“I always vote for new people. I say, give somebody else a chance to be a crook for a while,” Joyce said.

The Woodfolks said they will probably end up spending $150 to $200 more in fees in the coming year.

When you consider they’re on a fixed income and have a South Side house that’s in danger of foreclosure because of deadbeat tenants, it can seem like a lot more.

More from Mike Parker
  • Lyndia


  • Border Agent 69

    How about cutting all the city officials pay to 1/3 of what they make and the police and fireman’s pay in half a fire chief making $113 k a yr and works 3-4 days a week on avg and they sit around most of the time.Fire all the Alderman and their staff including bodyguards for Daley and Burke you’s are the one’s that say the city streets are so safe that no need for carry conceal.

    O ya quit building schools for ILLEGAL immigrants CARDENAS does nothing but spend our tax dollars on these criminals

  • clyde harrison

    I owns 5 properties the water bill will double in 4 yearswhich mean i have to raise the rent which mean some tenant will probably move out. THESE politician seem to think when they raise our burden it no big deal they need to think again 50 to 100 dollar a month equal 500 to 1000 dollar burden on us.

  • James

    It goes like this. Big politicians pushing the middle (falling) class closer to the poverty line. Big bad Rahm making it rain with inflated tax dollars to balance budgets that pay more politicians more money than most middle class people will see in 5 years. Let’s look at it this way. We pay our 50 Alderman just over $5.4 million per year in addition to their expense allowance of $73,280 per which put together means our city council (if you can call a governing body that can only vote to raise taxes and their own raises) is netting in the neighborhood of just north of $9.1 million. That sounds like a great start since it seems not one of these people in addition to the Mayor and every other local government official has one iota of empathy for the common worker in this city. Keep leaning on those who can’t continue to prop you up and we are destined for doom and gloom. Ask the city how much are these cameras going to cost that will be erected by every city school and park? I’m sure the revenue they hope to achieve will in the long run pay off, but again, Big Brother continues to impede on our civil liberties and wait for it, it’s not going to get better until we as a people can actually find a candidate who has the person not the taxpayer in their heart and get them elected. Just like the group of millionaires who stormed congress today and asked, please tax me more. We should also be looking to the wealthy in this city as there is certainly no shortage of them. As i drive by the S500’s and the Audi A8’s in my busted up Civic, I wonder, why is that the fee’s I pay for my car are the same as them. To close, I have nothing but disdain for politicians who make 100K plus and vote to increase taxes on people making next to nothing. Must be nice up on top of that big Waterford hill you sit on, casting taxes down on the normal people. How do they sleep at night? I wonder.

  • debbie s

    just sqeeze more money from the people who cant afford it tax the poor and the rich get richer i will now have to work 2 days to get my vehicle sticker my landlord will raise my rent because her water bill will go up so i wont be able to eat for one day no big deal who needs food anyway i cant wait to leave chicago for that matter illinois altogether

  • Jim Hamilton

    Rahm is more worried about getting those cameras to work so he can catch you hurrying home from the restaurants to use the bathroom than to clean up the cesspool. Why aren’t those cameras watching the neighborhood instead of working people running behind to get to works license plates. Running behind because of the big potholes in the road lord knows they have created more danger than going 5 mile an hour over has.

    Chicago is turning into one huge cesspool of criminals, put a fence around it and take away their right to vote.
    By the way.
    Hi there Chicago it’s me from down state illinois. Hows the anti gun laws working out for ya. When will you idiots up there wake up and see your anti carry laws only dis arm the law abiding guys and keep the bad guys with their guns safer?
    Like hell take my family to Chicago for family fun. Getting them all killed in a drive up like so many others I read about doesn’t sound like fun to me oh yeah and in Chicago the criminals carry guns but I can’t hahaha NO THANK YOU CHICAGO!

    • Roberta Waker

      You are absolutely right, stay out of Chicago. If enough people stay away they might get the message. If not, I could care less because there is NOTHING in Chicago that I would want to see or do that is worth getting shot, robbed, raped, or ripped off to do.

      • Jim Hamilton

        Good to know I’m not alone on the way I feel towards Chicago

  • Roberta Waker

    Chicago needs to cut salaries and eliminate perks for any city employee making $75K or more – that includes the aldermen and department heads. Taxing the poor people to death is not the answer. We need a good old fashioned revolution to take control of our country back and do something about “taxation without representation” as guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. Where’s the ACLU to protect us? Oh, I forgot, we aren’t illegals so they won’t bother with OUR rights.

  • rodney.

    there are less people in chicago now then on the last census. if that’s the case we don’t need the same amount of aldermen and alderwomen. I don’t see one politician losing his job because of the money woes. every time they use the legislature or the state constitution for that excuse. quit hiding behind the skirt of the constitution and do what the people elected you to do. you buffoons in the city council think your job is to raise taxes all the time when there is no money.At home when there is no money I have to cut back things in the house. Maybe you politicians should take a hint and cut back some on all these aldermen that we don’t need.

    • Jim Hamilton

      Well put rodney

  • Emanuel Set To Begin Implementing Budget « CBS Chicago

    […] But one Chicago family told CBS 2’s Mike Parker that implementing the budget has already meant sleepless nights. […]

  • Barbara

    We need to implement an “Occupy City Hall” or “Occupy City Government.” And I absolutely agree with Rodney that we need to reduce the number of aldermen. Fifty is more than any other city in the country,. Between their salaries, expenses and other perks, that should save us quite a bit of money.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live