October 14, 2015
The Civic Federation supports the City of Chicago’s proposed $7.8 billion budget and necessary property tax increase as a long overdue action to address the City’s public safety pension funding crisis. The total proposed property tax increase of $544.2 million over four years will be dedicated entirely to fund the Police and Fire pension funds. This unprecedented infusion of property taxes is a much-needed step toward stabilizing the City’s two worst-funded pension plans. The FY2016 budget also reduces the City's reliance on "scoop and toss" borrowing.
While supporting the overall budget, the Civic Federation is concerned that the City has not publicly released a plan for how it would fund two significant potential expenses in FY2016: an additional $220 million pension contribution if Senate Bill 777 is not signed into law and an increase in retiree health care costs if the City's phase-out of its retiree health care subsidy is struck down in the courts.
The full report also includes support for a proposed garbage removal fee that is already imposed by most other major U.S. cities and the proposal to pursue privatization of the City's 311 non-emergency call center.
The City of Chicago’s fiscal year begins January 1, 2016 and ends December 31, 2016.