Local Government Budgets

How Much Are State Pension Payments Worth to Illinois School Districts?

Release: June 23, 2017

Every school district in Illinois except for the Chicago Public Schools has its teacher pension payments made by the state as a consolidated payment to the Teachers Retirement System. Because of this, it is difficult to determine how much money these pension payments are worth to individual districts. CTBA has created per-district estimates for both normal cost (the payment that covers benefits being earned by current employees) and legacy cost (the debt service payment to make up for previous years' underfunding).

The Cost of a Two-Year Property Tax Freeze For Illinois Schools: Up to $830 Million

Release: June 23, 2017

Governor Bruce Rauner has made a property tax freeze a centerpiece of his demands for a full state budget, and the Illinois Senate passed a bill (SB484) that would enact a two-year freeze in May. But such a freeze, without provision for replacement revenue from the state, would effectively be a massive funding cut for K-12 education in Illinois.

Seeing Improvements, Questioning Priorities: Updating "A Fiscal Review of the Chicago Housing Authority"

Release: January 13, 2017

In 2014, CTBA released a report showing that the Chicago Housing Authority had accumulated over $400 million in reserves, in part by issuing an average of 13,000 fewer housing vouchers per year than the Authority was funded by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to do.

UPDATED: Illinois Property Taxes

Release: May 14, 2015

This Issue Brief is an update to a 2007 Brief, and provides an overview of who pays property taxes in Illinois, the steps in the property tax cycle, and what property tax revenue is used for. 

A Fiscal Review of the Chicago Housing Authority

Release: July 30, 2014

The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) participates in the federal program “Moving to Work,” which frees it from much of the oversight that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development usually exercises over public housing agencies. Through the MTW program, the CHA can pool federal funding for public housing, capital construction, and housing vouchers into one General Fund and spend money from that fund at its discretion. Normally, such federal funding has to be kept in segregated accounts by program. Because of the financial flexibility the MTW gives the CHA, the agency has been able to divert money intended for the issuance of housing vouchers to other uses.

CTBA’s report, A Fiscal Review of the Chicago Housing Authority, found that over the last five years in particular, the CHA’s reserve funds have grown significantly. During that same five-year period, the CHA had an average annual surplus of $107 million.

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