October 11, 2011
On Wednesday October 12th, Mayor Emanuel will release his first budget recommendations for the City of Chicago. With a reported FY2012 budget gap of $635.7 million to close in the Corporate Fund, the proposed budget is likely to address costs in the largest component of the City’s operating budget: public safety.
With regard to dollars appropriated, personnel expenditures and workforce size, the largest portion of the City of Chicago’s budget is dedicated to the Police Department, Fire Department and Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC).
The City’s Corporate Fund is its operating budget and supports services including public safety, public health, sanitation and transportation. It is funded through tax revenues including sales and use taxes, income tax receipts and personal property replacement taxes. Last year, the Corporate Fund appropriation for the Police Department was nearly $1.3 billion, or 39.7% of total Corporate Fund expenditures. The City appropriated $483.4 million, or 14.8%, for the Fire Department and $89.3 million, or 2.7%, for OEMC. The total Corporate Fund appropriation for public safety was nearly $1.9 billion, or 57.3% of Corporate Fund expenditures. These appropriations do not include payments for personnel-related benefits such as pensions and healthcare costs. Those costs are included in the Finance General appropriation, which was nearly $642.3 million or 19.7% of Corporate Fund expenditures for all departments. The next two largest components of Corporate Fund expenditures are the Departments of Streets and Sanitation (5.6%) and General Services (2.8%).
In FY2011 the City appropriated over $3.3 billion for personnel services for all departments across all local funds. This represented 53.7% of the City’s $6.2 billion total budget. The largest appropriation for personnel services is for the Chicago Police Department with nearly $1.3 billion or 38.3% of total personnel services for all local funds. The Fire Department represents $491.0 million, or 14.9% of total personnel services and OEMC represents $68.5 million, or 2.1% of total personnel services. The appropriations do not include personnel-related expenses such as pension and healthcare payments because the City budgets those costs collectively for all departments in the Finance General appropriation.
The vast majority of the City’s workforce is in public safety with approximately 21,850 full-time positions or 66.4% of the City’s workforce. The figures below represent the proposed number of full-time positions because the adopted number is not available in the FY2011 Appropriation Ordinance.
For further analysis of the City’s public safety departments, including issues of concern and recommendations for potential cost savings, see the Civic Federation’s “Recommendations for a Financially Sustainable City of Chicago."