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Tunney to Daley: Sell the Libraries

By Kevin Robinson in News on Oct 23, 2007 3:10PM

2007_10_library_card.gifProperty tax rates for the Chicago area were announced yesterday, and the fight over how much to raise taxes flared up again. While Todd Stroger tried to make his proposed increases more palatable by offering to rebate any leftover cash from a tax hike that hasn't yet been approved, Mayor Daley took a different approach, sending Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey to a city budget hearing yesterday to shill for higher property taxes.

Predictably, county commissioners weren't happy with the Toddler's plan. But Chicago aldermen were equally unhappy with Daley's plan to dress his tax hike up with new libraries. "The problem here is timing. I would, without question, be very supportive under normal circumstances, only this is not normal circumstances," the Sun-Times quoted Alderman Bernie Stone as saying. Ald. Tom Tunney suggested that the city seek corporate sponsorships to raise funding, including selling naming rights, creating "retail opportunities" and even getting a corporate sponsor for the library card itself. Tunney said he's "looking at every opportunity for revenue." Even without the local tax increases, homeowners are looking at bad news this fall. According to NBC5, a Chicago homeowner with a house assessed at fair market value of $200,000 will owe $2,844 in taxes. That same homeowner will owe $4,665 if they live in suburban Cook County.