October 31, 2012
The Civic Federation supports the City of Chicago’s FY2013 proposed $6.5 billion budget which reduces the City’s reliance on one-time revenue sources while restructuring City government through better managing personnel expenditures. The proposal also holds the property tax level nearly flat and does not include any new tax or fee increases. Actions taken to close a $298 million budget gap include increased efforts in healthcare claims management and joint purchasing, more aggressive debt collection and expanded opportunities for managed competition.
While the City has dramatically reduced its reliance on one-time revenue sources, at least $47 million of the FY2013 budget gap will be closed with non-recurring revenues including refinancing of existing debt and one-time Tax Increment Financing surplus. With a deficit of $580 million projected for FY2015, steps taken in the past two years to narrow the structural gap must be expanded in the future. The analysis also found that funding levels for all four of the City’s pension funds dropped significantly for the fourth consecutive year. The Federation strongly urges the City to work with relevant unions and engage with members of the Illinois General Assembly in moving forward with the reform framework Mayor Emanuel presented to the General Assembly in May 2012.