March 17, 2016

Bloomberg Business

Bloomberg Business
March 17, 2016

This article discusses the Chicago City Council authorizing up to $200 million of bonds to help pay termination fees to exit swaps linked to its water debt. Civic Federation President Laurence Msall noted that, while this helps the city refinance its variable-rate debt, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the full cost and how it will impact taxpayers.

March 21, 2016

Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago Sun-Times
March 21, 2016

This article reports on payments made to Chicago's police and fire pension funds using $220 million in short-term borrowing. Laurence Msall, President of the Civic Federation, called the borrowing an unfortunate, expensive, yet forseeable development, due to the lack of contingency planning in the City’s FY2016 budget.

March 16, 2016 - 2:38pm


March 16, 2016

The Civic Federation is proud to partner with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to co-host "Medicaid Expansion and the Affordable Care Act: A Fiscal Checkup,” The event will take place on Monday, April 4, 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Conference Center at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 230 South LaSalle Street, and will feature distinguished healthcare, government and nonprofit expert panelists and speakers.


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March 10, 2016 - 5:39pm


March 10, 2016

Three years ago, this blog examined the impact of the housing market collapse on a specific property tax exemption, the Senior Citizens Freeze Homestead Exemption, or “Senior Freeze.” We found that in Cook County the value of the Senior Freeze exemption fell sharply between tax years 2009 and 2011 as home values fell. Since then, the trend has continued, with the amount of taxable property value exempted by the Senior Freeze continuing to fall in tax years 2012, 2013 and 2014, the most recent years for which data are available.


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March 4, 2016

Daily Southtown

Daily Southtown
March 4, 2016

This article examines the costs of high pensions paid to former school district administrators in Illinois.  Laurence Msall, President of the Civic Federation, notes that these are a prime example of why the State continues to need pension reform.

March 3, 2016 - 3:44pm


March 3, 2016

With the budget for the current fiscal year still incomplete, Governor Bruce Rauner proposed a financial plan for the next budget year with an operating deficit of $3.5 billion.

The proposed budget for fiscal year 2017, which begins on July 1, 2016 and ends on June 30, 2017, was issued on February 17, 2016. The recommended FY2017 budget includes general operating revenues of $32.8 billion and expenditures of $36.3 billion.

Rather than providing a specific plan to close the $3.5 billion gap between revenues and expenditures, the proposed FY2017 budget offers the General Assembly a choice between two options:


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February 27, 2016

Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago Sun-Times
February 27, 2016

This article reports on a real estate investment made on behalf of five of Chicago’s public pension plans, which resulted in significant losses for those plans. Civic Federation President Laurence Msall comments on the lost investment and explains what could be done to prevent future risky investments.

February 25, 2016

This annual brief provides a compilation of selected consumer taxes, including rates and descriptions, in place in the City of Chicago as of May 1, 2016. It includes such taxes as the sales tax, amusement tax, lease tax, hotel tax, liquor tax, restaurant tax, soft drink tax, wheel tax and parking tax.

 

February 25, 2016

February 25, 2016 - 2:02pm


February 25, 2016

Consumers of electronic cigarettes in the City of Chicago and Cook County as a whole will pay new taxes in 2016. As part of their FY2016 budget processes the City of Chicago and Cook County both expanded their taxes on tobacco products to include liquid nicotine products, also known as e-cigarettes.

New Tobacco Related Taxes


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February 20, 2016

Crain's Chicago Business

Crain's Chicago Business
February 20, 2016

This editorial discusses the eight-month Illinois budget impasse, calling on Illinois General Assembly leaders to aid in passing a budget. The Civic Federation’s State of Illinois FY2017 Budget Roadmap is cited as a reasonable blueprint for what the State’s budget might look like, including a mix of increased revenues and spending cuts.

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