The clock is ticking for the City of Chicago’s police and fire pension reform, which is at risk of remaining on Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk past the city’s deadline for passing a property tax
high enough to properly fund the systems.
The Illinois legislature still needs to send SB777—Chicago’s police and fire pension reform estimated to save the city USD 220m next year—to the Governor for his signature, who would
have 60 days to veto legislation. Illinois lawmakers passed the bill in June but did not send it to Rauner, as reported. The political play complicates matters for the Windy City, which already passed a budget pegged to a favorable outcome of this bill, and is simultaneously facing legal backlash on its municipal and laborer pension reform.
“Since we are now into November, it’s possible for Governor Rauner to sit on the bill until after the New Year,” said Bobby Otter, a budget director at the Center for Tax and Budget
Accountability. “If that were to happen, Chicago will miss the deadline for setting the appropriate property tax levy for next year.”
The bill saves the city USD 850m over the next five years, and extends the period of time that the city has to fully fund its retirement plans, as reported. The city has also pegged its USD
543m property tax increase to these tenuous savings.