Daley Promises No Taxes, Fee Hikes In 2010
By Marcus Gilmer in News on Oct 16, 2009 2:40PM
With the release of his 2010 budget approaching next week and a budget gap of over $550 million in the city budget, Mayor Daley's going to have to get creative if he wants to close that gap. He'll have to be even more creative now that's he promised he won't raise any taxes, fines, or fees. Said Daley yesterday, "I understand that times are very tough for people. I don't feel right asking them to pay for city government right now." The most likely option being bandied about, it seems, is still dipping into reserve funds from the city's parking meter and Skyway leases.
Critics will note that those deals are de facto fee increases. The Daley administration received massive upfront payments from the private companies that will operate the meters and the skyway for decades to come, but that has resulted in higher tolls on the skyway and increased rates at parking meters.
The city has more than $1 billion held in reserve from the parking meter deal, which was approved last year. And, almost five years after the skyway deal was inked, the administration had more than $650 million left at the end of last month from that $1.83 billion windfall, according to Finance Department records.
Service cuts are another option, though given the recent wrangling with unions over furlough days, it's unlikely Daley will ask for additional cuts from union employees. He presents his full 2010 budget to the City Council on Wednesday, October 21.