November 13, 2013
The Civic Federation supports the City of Chicago’s proposed $7.0 billion budget as a reasonable short-term plan that closes approximately two-thirds of a $338.7 million budget gap with structural changes that will continue to reduce the City’s ongoing deficit. To help balance the FY2014 budget, the City proposed an increase in the City’s cigarette tax rate, a reduction in the partial exemption from the amusement tax for cable companies and targeted rate increases for fines and permits.
Chicago’s fiscal and economic stability continue to be jeopardized by the failure to fix the City’s broken pension system. Next year the City faces a $590 million increase in required pension contributions. This rise is so sharp that it would require a significant increase in the City’s property tax levy, crippling cuts to City services or both. All four of the City’s pension funds reported significant drops in their funding levels this year and the Municipal and Laborers’ Funds are projected to be insolvent within 10 to 20 years without reform. The Federation urges Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago City Council to continue working with its unions and engaging members of the Illinois General Assembly to enact sustainable reforms.
The City of Chicago’s fiscal year begins January 1, 2014 and ends December 31, 2014.