Laurence Msall

Mayor Emanuel talks with CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine about snow removal and its impact on the budget. (CBS)

Chicago Has Nearly Exhausted Reserves For Snow Removal This Winter

The city budgeted $20 million for snow cleanup but has already spent $25 million. CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports.


Millennium Park

Budget Watchdog Surprised To Learn Daley Borrowed Millions To Run Millennium Park

The Daley administration took out nearly $30 million in loans to run the park, from the year after it opened, until the former mayor left office.


City Hall

Civic Federation: City’s Credit Rating Hit ‘Extraordinary’

The head of a budget watchdog group said a major of the Chicago’s credit rating on Thursday was no surprise, but is very troubling for residents.


Illinois State Capitol

Watchdog Predicts $22B In Unpaid Bills For State Gov’t By 2018

The long list of people the state owes money to could nearly triple in five years, if lawmakers don’t get costs under control, according to a local budget watchdog group.


Chicago Public Schools

School Budget Would Raise Property Taxes, Empty Reserve Fund

Chicago Public School officials have unveiled their budget plan for next school year, seeking to fill a $665 million deficit with a property tax hike, personnel cuts and some one-time revenue.

CBS Chicago–07/06/2012

City Hall

Study: Local Government Pension Debt At More Than $27 Billion

A report being released Monday contains troubling news about the Chicago pension plans covering various municipal employees.

CBS Chicago–06/25/2012

U.S. cash (Bertrand Langlois/AFP/Getty Images)

New Website Could Help Pressure Lawmakers, Employees To Fix Pensions

A new voice and a new website were added Monday to the effort to avert what appears to be the potential collapse of Illinois public employee pension funds. CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports.


Laurence Msall

Civic Federation: State Could End Up With $35M In Unpaid Bills

Ahead of Gov. Pat Quinn’s state of the state address this Wednesday and his budget address next month, a tax watchdog group is sounding the alarm about Illinois’ looming financial disaster.

WBBM Newsradio–01/30/2012

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. (Credit: Craig Dellimore/WBBM Newsradio)

Civic Federation Lauds Preckwinkle’s County Budget Plan

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s proposed 2012 budget is getting high marks from a noted government watchdog.

CBS Chicago–10/26/2011

Photo Of A Cook County Property Tax Bill. (Helen Marshall/WBBM Photo)

Property Values Down, But Property Taxes Up

It’s a cruel reality. Property taxes are up all over Chicagoland, according to a new report. In the city and suburb after suburb, property values are dropping, but tax levies for schools and services are going up.

CBS Chicago–09/19/2011

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. (Credit: City of Chicago)

Emanuel Panel Urges New Era Of ‘TIF’ Transparency

Tax-increment financing, or TIF, is a controversial economic development tool that has been abused in Chicago. Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday vowed again to add oversight to the program.


Laurence Msall

Watchdog: County’s Budget Situation Seems To Be Improving

Cook County is going to see more layoffs and red ink, but a Chicago budget watchdog says the situation seems to be improving.

WBBM Newsradio–07/28/2011

CBS 2 viewer John Kapusciarz took this photo of a crew of three city workers that was sent out to change a light bulb in an alley behind his business. One worker took out a chair and sat down the whole time. (Photo courtesy John Kapusciarz)

How Many City Workers Does It Take To Change A Light Bulb?

How many city workers does it take to change a light bulb? Sounds like a joke right? But it’s not funny when it’s our tax dollars being wasted.

CBS 2–07/12/2011

Gov. Pat Quinn (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

Tax Watchdog Group: State Budget Much Worse Than Quinn Says

A tax watchdog group claims Gov. Pat Quinn is not being realistic in how deep in the red the state’s finances are.

WBBM Newsradio–05/09/2011

Laurence Msall

Civic Federation President: City Is Near Insolvency

The head of the government watchdog group the Civic Federation says the Chicago City Council is going to have to show some strength if Chicago is to truly bring its budget under control.

WBBM Newsradio–04/22/2011

At Chicago City Hall Outside The Mayor's Office. (AP Photo)

Report: City Of Chicago In Serious Budget Mess

A new report by an independent research group outlines the financial crisis facing Chicago’s next mayor and City Council.

WBBM Newsradio–02/14/2011

Laurence Msall

City Pension Crisis Called ‘Ticking Time Bomb’

Yet another warning has been issued about Chicago’s looming public pension crisis.

WBBM Newsradio–02/10/2011

Laurence Msall

Civic Federation: Tax Hike Won’t Lower Deficit

The oldest non-partisan government research organization in the state says the proposed Illinois income tax increase will not help lower the state’s $15 billion deficit.

CBS Chicago–01/07/2011

Illinois State Capitol

Quinn, Lawmakers Still Working On Tax Hike

Gov. Pat Quinn and legislative leaders in Springfield have been meeting repeatedly this week, trying to hammer out an agreement that would raise the state’s income tax in an effort to solve a massive budget deficit.

CBS Chicago–01/05/2011