CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel was set to host the second of three town hall meetings this week to discuss the city’s budget situation with Chicago residents.
The mayor heard plenty of complaints at the first town hall meeting Monday night, but is also seeking suggestions for how to plug a $750 million hole in the budget.
Emanuel’s office said the city has identified more than $5 million in dormant revenue accounts – sometimes called zombie accounts – that can now help support operations.
The mayor told reporters there are more ideas about taxing tobacco products to bring in additional revenue.
“We tax it. So we invest the money in about 35,000 kids now who get free eye care and dental care, because for people that buy tobacco products allow us, with the resources, to invest in our kids’ better healthcare,” he said. “Alderman [Proco Joe] Moreno’s talked about non-cigarette tobacco products. That was an idea brought up. It’s also been an idea that’s been discussed with aldermen.”
Emanuel said he’d like to hear more ideas for budget cuts, in addition to suggestions for new revenue.