Civic Federation Blog

08.26.14

Pension Funding Basics: Unfunded Liabilities as a Percentage of Payroll

The difference between a pension fund’s assets and accrued liabilities is known as the unfunded liability. The unfunded actuarial accrued liability (UAAL) is calculated by subtracting the actuarial value of the assets from the actuarial accrued liability (AAL) of each fund. One of the...

08.20.14

How the Chicago 911 Surcharge Frees Up Additional Funding for the Municipal and Laborers’ Pension Funds

Public Act 98-0641, the City of Chicago’s pension reform bill, originally called for an increase in property taxes to help fund the Municipal Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund (MEABF) and the Laborers’ and Retirement Board Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund (LABF) of...

08.14.14

Trends in Estimated Full Value of Real Estate in Cook County

The Civic Federation today released its annual estimate of the full value of real estate in Chicago and the Cook County suburbs. After the rate of decline in estimated property values slowed for the County as a whole in 2011, the rate of decline increased again in 2012. Tax year 2012 is the most...

08.07.14

The Governmental Research Association: A Resource for Non-Partisan, Evidence-Based Public Policy Research

The Civic Federation is a member of the Governmental Research Association (GRA), which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The GRA is the national organization of individuals professionally engaged in governmental research. Organizations like the Civic Federation from around the country...

08.01.14

City Releases Annual Financial Analysis for 2014: Budget Projections Do Not Include Increase in Police and Fire Pension Fund Payments

This week the City of Chicago released its Annual Financial Analysis for 2014. According to an executive order issued by Mayor Rahm Emanuel on May 20, 2011, the Office of Budget and Management is mandated to produce a financial analysis of the City budget by July 31st of each year.  The report...

07.25.14

CPS Balances its FY2015 Budget with Accounting Maneuver that Changes the Time Period Used to Recognize Revenues

CPS is balancing its budget in FY2015 in large part by shifting the time period used to report revenues from 30 to 60 days. This will allow the District to access $648.0 million in revenues that it would not otherwise have been able to use. However, this is a one-time maneuver that cannot be...

07.17.14

Most Chicago TIF Districts Reported Revenue Declines in 2013

A new report by Cook County Clerk David Orr released on July 16 finds that 68.2% or 103 of Chicago’s 151 tax increment financing (TIF) districts experienced revenue declines in 2013. Only 30 TIFs reported revenue increases, while 21 of the districts did not collect any revenues at all....

07.10.14

Tax Rates of Major Chicago Area Governments Continue to Grow

Second installment property tax bills for Cook County residents were mailed out this month, the third year in a row that they have been sent out on time. Between tax year 1977 and tax year 2011, second installment bills were sent out late every year according to the elected officials associated...

07.03.14

Cook County Issues Preliminary Budget Forecast for FY2015

On June 26, 2014, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle issued a preliminary budget forecast for fiscal year 2015, which begins on December 1, 2014. The report also provides estimated year-end results for FY2014. A public hearing on the preliminary FY2015 budget will be held on July 16, 2014...

06.26.14

New Cook County Property Tax Bills to Include Additional TIF Information

Last week Cook County Clerk David Orr announced upcoming changes to property tax bills that will allow residential and business taxpayers with properties located inside tax increment financing (TIF) districts to see how much of their payments are going to TIF funds. For the first time, Cook County...