Ralph Martire

Emanuel To Aldermen: Raise Property Taxes, Or Lay Off Cops And FirefightersMayor Rahm Emanuel told aldermen Tuesday the city must raise property taxes by $543 million to shore up police and firefighter pension funds, or face laying off thousands of firefighters and police officers.
Budget Watchdog: City's Junk Bond Status Could Cost Up To $300 MillionRalph Martire, director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, said the latest downgrade to junk bond status will cost the city an additional $200 million to $300 million, on top of its existing budget deficit and employee pension fund shortfalls.
Budget Expert: Lawmakers' Refusal Of Pension Benefits 'Irrelevant' To Pension CrisisSeveral state lawmakers have opted out of their legislative pensions, while the state continues to struggle with a massive pension debt, but a local budget policy group said the lawmakers’ actions are neither effective, nor relevant.
Is Tax Policy To Blame For Illinois' Problems?As people focus on their tax returns this weekend, two politically opposed budget watchdogs are differing strongly about the role taxes are playing in Illinois' financial problems right now.