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During the darkest hours of Mayor Emanuel’s runoff campaign, he worked hard to downplay the looming property tax hike that many insiders knew was inevitable. Last Wednesday, that inevitability became reality when the Chicago City Council passed Mayor Emanuel’s $588 million tax increase. In addition, the City Council passed a much maligned garbage pick up fee that will cost Chicagoans approximately $9.50 extra monthly. Many assumed the inevitability of that massive tax increase and the impending voter backlash is what led Emanuel to declare during his 2014 campaign, that this would be his last term.
But, in what was an unexpected turnabout, immediately following the passage of the historic tax increase, Emanuel announced that he was planning on running for a 3rd term. Perhaps he was emboldened by passage of the tax increase, maybe he has given up his national aspirations after becoming damaged goods in Chicago’s first ever mayoral runoff. Maybe it could be the lack of a credible challenger on the horizon. Regardless of the circumstances, Emanuel got his tax increase, and Chicago has its Mayor for the foreseeable future.
But according to Danielle Stanley, Research Assistant at the Center for Budget and Tax Accountability, Chicagoans are not in the clear. As previously reported in the Chicago Defender, a significant part of the solution relies on a dysfunctional Springfield that has not been able to solve it’s own budget issues.
“In the spring of 2015, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 777 (Cullerton/Currie), which changes the 2010 law and reduces the City’s required contributions to the police and fire pension funds. If SB77 is not signed into law, the city will need other funding/revenue options,” Stanley said.