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Mayor: I’ll Listen To Aldermen’s Budget Ideas, But ‘I’m Not Raising Taxes’

Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Mayor Rahm Emanuel (Credit: CBS)

dellimore250 Craig Dellimore
Craig Dellimore, political editor for WBBM, joined the station in 1983...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he’s willing to listen to aldermen’s suggestions as they pore over his proposed budget, but there are some ideas the mayor said will generate an instant “no.”

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports some aldermen have floated the idea of imposing a commuter tax on people who work in the city, but live in the suburbs.

But, in a one-on-one interview with Dellimore on Thursday, Emanuel said if a budget idea has the word tax attached, don’t talk to him. The mayor said he’ll reject any proposals for new taxes, so the idea for a commuter tax is certainly dead on arrival with him.

“I’m not raising any fees. Don’t go there. … I’m not raising taxes,” Emanuel said.

LISTEN: WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore’s Full Interview With Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Aldermen have said they want to find money to hire more than the 500 police officers the mayor has promised for next year.

“They’ll come forward with ideas. We welcome a discussion. I’ve talked to Garry McCarthy, the superintendent of the Police Department, on a regular basis about where we are in each of the districts, what is needed, what we’re doing, what new strategies or tactics that have to be adopted,” the mayor said.

While the mayor said he’d listen to ideas for hiring more police officers, any plans to do so must not affect any of his programs for children.

Emanuel has proposed adding 5,000 slots to early childhood education programs, and another 3,000 slots for after-school programs. He also has proposed providing eye exams and glasses for 23,000 more needy kids.

“I’m going to keep the after-school program, 30 percent increase,” he said. “We’re going to give the children pre-kindergarten full day, we are going to give this doubling the summer jobs, we are going to give those kids eyeglasses so they can see the blackboard. And I’ve told all the aldermen this. Don’t touch it. You’ve got to go through me.”

LISTEN: WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports