CTBA in the News

October 27, 2015Reuters

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposed fiscal 2016 budget and historic property tax increase dedicated to paying pensions for police and firefighters is expected to win approval on Wednesday from the city council even though the spending plan faces uncertainties.

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October 24, 2015The Southern Illinoisan

Environmentalists are again touting a severance tax on Illinois's coal production. Coal industry lobbyists said the tax would be another attack on an already-embattled economic driver.

Proponents of the "Community Futures Initiative" were in Southern Illinois this week, rallying support for a 5 percent severance tax on all coal produced within Illinois. Only three of the 25 coal-producing states, including Illinois, don't have a targeted tax on coal production.

Severance tax supporters cite an analysis published this week by the Chicago-based Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, which concluded coal actually costs the state $20 million a year in tax breaks and other public services. 

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October 15, 2015State Journal-Register

In essence, the theory of supply-side economics is based on three main premises. First, cutting income taxes, particularly for high-wealth individuals, frees up their income to "trickle down" and benefit virtually everyone, because the wealthy will use their tax relief to create faster job growth. This enhanced job growth will trigger rapid economic expansion and, hence, create growing wages for most.

Indeed, according to the theory, the growth in jobs and personal income for the majority of workers will be so great that even though the taxes of top earners are being cut, overall tax revenue will be undiminished.

What's scary is that this theory has been law since 1981 and continues to enjoy broad support, despite no evidence that it works. 

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October 1, 2015Public News Service

Federal Stopgap Exacerbates Illinois' Money Problems

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September 25, 2015Daily Herald

Last year, Illinois implemented a new standardized test to assess student achievement. Known as "PARCC" -- which stands for "Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers" -- the test is supposed to measure how well students have mastered the relatively new "Common Core" curriculum. 

The initial PARCC results are in, and absolutely no one is happy with the numbers. Under PARCC, only 38 percent of Illinois' eighth grade students met or exceeded standards in English, with just 31 percent doing so in math. In high school, 31 percent met or exceeded English standards, while just 17 percent satisfied math standards -- with no students exceeding.

Now, before the uninformed blame-game begins in earnest, let's balance the PARCC results with a little perspective.

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Charles N. Wheeler III, director of the Public Affairs Reporting program at the University of Illinois Springfield explains by he thinks taxes should go up in Illinois. 

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September 23, 2015State Journal-Register

Last year, Illinois implemented a new standardized test to assess student achievement. Known as "PARCC" -- which stands for "Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers" -- the test is supposed to measure how well students have mastered the relatively new "Common Core" curriculum. 

The initial PARCC results are in, and absolutely no one is happy with the numbers. Under PARCC, only 38 percent of Illinois' eighth grade students met or exceeded standards in English, with just 31 percent doing so in math. In high school, 31 percent met or exceeded English standards, while just 17 percent satisfied math standards, with no students exceeding.

Before the uninformed blame-game begins in earnest, let's balance the PARCC results with a little perspective.

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September 22, 2015CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel told aldermen Tuesday the city must raise property taxes by $543 million to shore up police and firefighter pension funds, or face laying off thousands of firefighters and police officers.

The mayor’s budget plan includes phasing in that $543 million property tax over the next four years, with the bulk of it scheduled for this year. He also proposed a new garbage collection fee, and a bevy of other new taxes and fees, as he aims to eliminate the city’s structural budget deficit, and solve the city’s pension crisis. Emanuel also called for an additional $45 million property tax hike to fund school construction.

If approved by at least 26 aldermen, the mayor’s budget plan would amount to what analysts have called the largest property tax hike in modern Chicago history.

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September 9, 2015Progress Illinois

Eugene Jones, acting CEO at the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), is facing some criticismafter recently describing the proposed "Keeping the Promise Ordinance" as a "waste of time." 

The proposed Chicago ordinance is aimed at providing the city council with greater oversight of the CHA.

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September 4, 2015Gazette Chicago

Former Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) residents from the Dearborn, Ickes, and Wentworth Gardens Homes, along with community organizers, protested outside 3rd Ward Alderman Pat Dowell’s office on August 6 because the City of Chicago has transferred public CHA land to commercial interests.

Protesters called for aldermen and the CHA to place a moratorium on all land swaps and sales of public housing land and to create a plan for replacement housing. Promises of replacement housing since the CHA demolished highrise developments between 1996 and 2010 mostly have gone unrealized, protesters said.

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