Civic Federation Blog

01.28.16

Short-term Liabilities of City of Chicago Increase through FY2014, while CPS and Cook County Short-term Liabilities Decrease

Short-term or current liabilities are financial obligations that must be satisfied within one year. They can include short-term debt, accounts payable, accrued payroll and other current liabilities. This blog post presents five-year trends for: 1) total short-term liabilities in the Governmental...

01.22.16

The Task Force on Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates Makes its Recommendations to the Governor

The Civic Federation has long supported legislation aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of government operations in Illinois by consolidating or abolishing redundant and/or anachronistic local governments. For example, on November 17, 2003, the Federation called on the State to...

12.30.15

2015 Year in Review on Civic Federation Blog

The following are the five most read posts presented by the Civic Federation blog in 2015. These posts examine a number of closely followed local government issues, ranging from City and County taxes to Chicago pension debt.   Where Do Your Property Taxes Go? April 7, 2015 This blog post...

12.17.15

FY2016 Budget Season Summary

FY2016 Budget Season Summary December 3, 2015 marked the end of the budget season for the eight local governments monitored by the Civic Federation. These governments include: the City Colleges of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, City of Chicago, Cook County, Chicago Transit Authority, Forest...

12.14.15

Karen Tamley Honored at 24th Annual Excellence in Public Service Award Breakfast

On December 10, 2015, the Motorola Solutions Foundation and the Civic Federation honored the outstanding public service of Karen Tamley, Commissioner of the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD). The annual award recognizes a non-elected government official who has had an...

12.11.15

Popular Annual Financial Reports: The Potential for Increased Transparency, Accountability and Public Inclusion

Popular Annual Financial Reports: The Potential for Increased Transparency, Accountability and Public Inclusion The Civic Federation has long encouraged government transparency and accountability, both of which are emphasized in our Mission Statement. To promote financial transparency many local...

11.19.15

Measuring the Productivity of the Chicago Transit Authority Over Time

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) recently released its FY2016 proposed budget. While the Civic Federation traditionally analyzes features common to all local government budgets, our analyses of the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) budgets include a review of the Authority’s...

11.11.15

Karen Tamley to Receive 2015 Motorola Solutions Foundation Excellence in Public Service Award

The Civic Federation and Motorola Solutions Foundation are pleased to announce the 2015 Excellence in Public Service honoree, Karen Tamley, Commissioner of the City of Chicago’s Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. The award recognizes a non-elected government official who has...

11.06.15

Cook County Board President to Propose New Hotel Tax Instead of Eliminating Amusement Tax Exemptions

UPDATE: On Monday, November 9, 2015, Cook County Board President Preckwinkle called a special meeting of the Board of Commissioners to address the Hotel Accommodations Tax. On Friday November 6, 2015, the Civic Federation discussed a Hotel Tax based on net receipts; however, the ordinance...

10.22.15

City of Chicago Proposes Solid Waste Removal Fee

The City of Chicago’s FY2016 budget proposes to implement a monthly solid waste removal fee of $9.50 on households, which is projected to generate $62.7 million in new revenue.[1] Currently the City of Chicago spends approximately $244 million per year on solid waste removal services. The...

10.08.15

What is the General Homestead Property Tax Exemption?

On September 22, 2015, Mayor Rahm Emanuel released the City of Chicago FY2016 Budget, which includes a nearly $1.3 billion property tax levy, an increase of $427.7 million over the originally adopted FY2015 budget. The property tax levy would be dedicated to the Police and Fire pension funds. In...

09.17.15

Op-ed: Coming Tuesday: Emanuel's make-or-break budget for Chicago

The following opinion piece by Civic Federation President Laurence Msall was published by the Chicago Tribune on September 17, 2015. On Tuesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel will present the most important budget this generation of Chicago taxpayers will ever see. This budget will either drive away residents...

09.09.15

The Final 2014 Cook County Equalization Factor is 2.7253

The Illinois Department of Revenue announced earlier this summer that the final equalization factor for the Cook County 2014 property assessment year (taxes payable in 2015) is 2.7253. The 2014 final equalization factor of 2.7253 is greater than the final 2013 equalization factor of 2.6922. This...

08.27.15

Illinois Supreme Court to Expedite Hearing of Reforms to Chicago Municipal and Laborers’ Pension Funds

The Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to an expedited hearing on the constitutionality of reforms to the City of Chicago’s Municipal and Laborers’ Pension Funds with oral arguments now scheduled for November. The City faces uncertainty to preserve these reforms. On June 9, 2014, former...

08.06.15

City of Chicago Releases Annual Financial Analysis for 2015

The City of Chicago recently released its Annual Financial Analysis for 2015. 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...