Chicago City Council on Tuesday voted to approve Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s budget plan for 2021, which includes property and gas tax increases, among other revenue-generating and cost-cutting measures, to address the city’s estimated $ 1.2 billion deficit.
The real estate tax increase passed 28 to 22 votes, with the approval of 26 of all 50 required approval to pass.
When announcing Lightfoot’s proposal, he said the $ 12.8 billion budget would close the $ 1.2 billion gap, 65% of which was tied to the coronavirus epidemic, which cratered revenues like sales tax and much more because the shutdowns to prevent the spread of a deadly virus have caused widespread economic causes of destruction.
The real estate tax increase in the budget plan is twofold: a one-time increase that generates $ 43 million, and a plan that raises property taxes with inflation each year and links them to the consumer price index.
The estimated impact of the total $ 93.9 million property tax increase will be roughly $ 56 a year for a median home worth $ 250,000, Lightfoot said in October.
Lightfoot’s plan also includes raising the city’s gas tax by $ 0.03, from $ 0.05 to $ 0.08 / cent per gallon, and raising the rent for personal property used for computer leases of cloud software and cloud infrastructure.
The budget also generates revenue by lowering the threshold for issuing $ 35 speeding tickets to drivers caught on camera, at speeds of up to 6-9 miles per hour. Currently, only drivers with a speed speed of 10 mph exceed the speed limit and are issued $ 100 tickets to drivers who drive at a speed of at least 11 mph.
Lightfoot’s plan also saves $ 501 million by refinancing and restructuring existing debts, a practice used by former mayors that opponents say is a kind of “dumpling and tossing” that could prove unsustainable and costly in the years to come.
His plan, introduced in October, originally included the layoffs of roughly 350 urban workers, which he later announced after working with the Chicago Labor Association.
Personnel changes to the budget continue to include the elimination of roughly 1,900 vacancies from all city departments, hundreds of police and firefighters, and five cunning days for non-union employees. These personnel changes mean savings of roughly $ 106 million.
His proposal also includes $ 76 million in additional TIF funding and $ 30 million from the city’s Rainy Day Fund.
“To be bright people, we don’t just live on a rainy day. It’s a rainy season,” Lightfoot said when he unveiled his budget in October.
As for the financing of the budget proposal, Lightfoot said his plan includes additional funding for community-based violence prevention and reduction efforts, which will support the expansion of the violence prevention program and launch a pilot program to involve mental health professionals, ambulances and crises. police officers trained to intervene answer certain 911 calls.
After months of renewed protests and calls to reallocate Chicago Police Department funding to social services and other initiatives, when its budget was announced, Lightfoot once again fell sharply into a position it often repeats.
“I was very clear that I didn’t support police coverage of the police,” Lightfoot said in October. “I also reject the false narrative that either the police or the community are being funded.”
He noted that the federal consent ordinance, entered into by the city after the Ministry of Justice’s 2017 Comprehensive Report, found that the “pattern and practice” of civil rights violations committed by the CPD requires that certain parts and programs be funded as part of its judicially controlled reforms.
At the same time, about 86% of respondents to the city-wide survey of more than 38,000 residents voted to reallocate funding for police services to fund other urban services – a number that pointed out why they would not vote for the budget.
The budget also includes an additional $ 1.7 million for youth programming, $ 2 million for affordable housing, and $ 7 million for workforce training and support for small businesses, Lightfoot said.