July 8, 2015
The Civic Federation supports the City Colleges tentative FY2016 budget totaling $695.6 million because it continues to minimize the financial burden placed on taxpayers by avoiding a property tax increase at a time when other local governments in Chicago are facing financial crises that will likely result in significant demands for increasing the City’s overall property tax burden. The budget also holds the District’s gross property tax levy relatively flat for the sixth consecutive year. However, the Federation is concerned that a new flat-rate tuition structure proposed for the upcoming school year that will increase rates for certain students could negatively impact future enrollment and was not communicated to students before registration for fall 2015 classes was opened.
Overall, this budget continues a dramatic improvement for City Colleges’ finances in recent years. The Civic Federation commends City Colleges for introducing and maintaining a number of prudent financial management practices including a healthy fund balance for contingencies, a publicly available long-term financial plan and a formal debt management policy that prohibits negative short-term measures such as borrowing for operations or non-economic debt refunding.
The City Colleges fiscal year begins July 1, 2015 and ends June 30, 2016.