City Budget Means Higher Fees; Had Enough?
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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.
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.”
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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.