CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel will present his final budget address on Wednesday. Experts call the mayor’s budget plan a “feel good” proposal, and say it might come back to bite taxpayers after Emanuel is out of office.
Budget analysts are concerned about what will happen with the city’s $28 billion deficit in years to come. Tax increases could help pay those bills, but the mayor’s proposed spending plan does not include any.
That’s welcome relief to Chicago taxpayers who already have endured property tax hikes to fund police, fire, and teacher pensions.
The mayor has said his spending plan includes $42 million for violence prevention programs; a nearly $8 million increase from 2018 for youth mentoring, ex-offender employment, street outreach, and more.
Another $25 million is allocated for various police training programs related to the proposed consent decree negotiated with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
Emanuel’s final budget also sets aside millions to address regular city life complaints. For example, $1.3 million is carved out to curb criticism about garage and recycling bin delays.
Tree trimming gets an additional $308,000.
The city also would spend an extra $500,000 on rodent control. The Chicago Tribune reports that boost would allow Department of Streets and Sanitation workers to blitz heavily rat-infested areas.
This is the mayor’s eighth budget, and pushback from aldermen is expected to be light, if any. Without any tax increases, the spending plan isn’t very controversial.