Oct
12

Mayor’s Budget Plan Protects Chicago Homeowners

October 12, 2011

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday unveiled his first budget proposal aimed at tackling the city’s $635.7 million budget deficit, and as promised, the 2012 plan includes no increase in property taxes on Chicago real estate.

Emanuel also avoided increasing the sales tax.

What the plan does call for is the consolidation of the Chicago Police and Fire Departments into one public safety headquarters. Chicago would be the first major city in the nation to do so, but the change, along with closing three police district stations and consolidating five bureaus into three, would save the city $82 million a year.

Click the Budget to see it more clearly

Here are some other plans from Emanuel’s budget, along with the estimated amounts those changes can save or make the city:

*Switch from ward-based garbage collection to grid system ($20 million)

*Impose higher fees on city stickers for SUVs and heavier cars and trucks ($14.8 million).

*Increase downtown parking fees in congested areas ($28 million)

*Force businesses who get prime real estate for loading zone spaces to pay for it or give it up to residents who need the parking, and impose an hourly valet fee instead of the current annual one ($6.2 million)

*More aggressively pursue debts, including unpaid parking bills from city employees, city ambulance fees and suburban water bills ($33 million)

*Eliminate 510 City department senior and middle-management jobs, a 10 percent reduction ($34 million)

*Add a wellness program aimed at improving employee’s health and reducing City healthcare costs ($20 million)

*Increase taxes on hotel rooms, which would amount to about $1.78 per average room per night ($14 million)

*Reduce the hours Chicago Public Libraries are open ($7 million)

The Mayor also proposes increasing fines for neighborhood safety violations, which would include anything from property defacement and noise violations to uncut weeds and the over-accumulation of garbage.

Imposing heftier fines on those who put our communities at risk will save Chicago an estimated $14.6 million a year.

“A budget is about priorities. And this deficit is an opportunity to get it right,” said Mayor Emanuel.

“We can either start shaping our city’s future or let it shape us.”

Emanuel’s proposal also includes a water/sewer infrastructure program that would create jobs but also increase water rates for Chicago residents. Click here for that story.

The Chicago City Council has until December 31 to review the Mayor’s budget proposal. For more details on the plan, visit chicagobudget.org.

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Tracey

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[...] Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2012 budget proposal spares homeowners from a Chicago real estate property tax hike, city residents could still be in store for an increase on their water [...]

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