CBS 2 asked Toni Preckwinkle and Lori Lightfoot for their positions on key issues facing Chicago.
My core principles in evaluating revenue sources are (1) what are the benefits and risks; (2) who will bear the burden of the revenue source – I want to lessen the burden for low-income and middle class individuals and families who have been hardest hit; and (3) whether any short term gain is worth the long term implications.
There are a number of progressive revenue sources we can work toward, including a progressive state income tax. I also support efforts to legalize and tax recreational marijuana, though it will also require Springfield approval and would not bring revenue to Chicago until late 2020 at the earliest.
Finally, in thinking about a Chicago casino, it is imperative that any potential casino be city-owned, and its construction must be used as an economic development tool to benefit people and neighborhoods that have been neglected by city government for far too long.
To combat Chicago’s soaring property taxes, the city must seek alternative sources of revenue before resorting to any new taxes. I have advocated for new revenue sources including a progressive state income tax, legalizing marijuana, which can then be taxed, and a city-owned casino.
As mayor, I will use the influence of my office to advocate for the passage of a constitutional amendment to permit a graduated income tax rate structure. The revenue from this initiative must be used to properly fund education and reign in the growing pension debt obligations. I will also support a tax reform package that includes additional progressive revenue initiatives, including dedicating yearly TIF surplus specifically to public schools.
This will add revenue to public education so that we can achieve equity more quickly. Finally, I will support a fully elected school board for CPS, so that every resident of our city will have a voice in how education dollars are distributed.
I have expressed my support for a real estate transfer tax on properties sold for over $1 million, in order to create a long-term funding proposal which would help to decrease Chicago’s homeless population by 10,000 in its first year.