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City Council Passes Budget

By vouchey in News on Dec 15, 2004 11:27PM

After a month of debate the Chicago City Council got down to brass tacks today and passed a 2005 budget that raises taxes by $86 million. The budget was thoughtfully seperated into two votes: One for expendiatures, which passed 47-3, and one for taxes, which passed 45-5.

The most controvertial component of the budget was a .25-percent increase in city sales tax, bringing our sales taxes to 9%. Memphis is the only other big city with a high tax rate -- 9.25%. You'd think most of that most of that went to patronage jobs, right? Nope. The Civic Federation's analysis shows over 1,200 city jobs were cut, and the unions aren't happy about it. Actually, most of the tax increases for the $5.1 billion budget are to pay for debt service for the city's increasing capital projects, like new police stations and schools. Since 1994, Chicago's long-term debt has skyrocketed from about $1.5 billion to about $4.8 billion -- that's $1,657 per capita.

Since it seems like just about every fee and minor tax has been raised, the only thing left to do would be raise property taxes, and that's a bugaboo in politics.

Mayor Daley needs a new casino bad.