CHICAGO (CBS) — The head of the Chicago Teachers Union is touting a tax on stock trades and other transactions to help close a pension gap without cutting benefits for retired teachers.
WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports CTU President Karen Lewis bristles at calling it a crisis.
“We don’t have a pension crisis, we have pension shortfall and a crisis in leadership,” said Lewis.
She told the City Club of Chicago a LaSalle Street tax on buyers and sellers in financial transactions like stock sales and futures trading could bring in $11-12 billion to shore up pensions.
“The average contract size is more than $225,000. Under our proposal, the tax is less than .002 of a percent of the contract’s value. You and I pay more on our take-out orders at McDonald’s,” said Lewis.
Lewis also reminded everyone that another teachers’ strike could be looming during next year’s mayoral campaign.
“I’m not looking to make anyone’s election year easy, especially for someone who doesn’t want to make our lives easy,” said Lewis.
Lawmakers in Springfield are considering such measures now.
Lewis also proposed a commuter tax and a graduated state income tax. Her proposals aren’t new.
A transaction tax is illegal, according to the Mayor’s office. So would a tax on non-residents. The graduated state income tax failed last week in Springfield.
As for contract talks with teachers: according to Barbara Byrd Bennett, “we’re focused on finishing this school year strong, not contract negotiations for next year.