Mayor Lori Lightfoot is expected to propose a $94 million property tax increase on Wednesday, as part of measures to balance Chicago’s budget — which has a $1.2 billion shortfall due to the pandemic.
Her plans also reportedly include layoffs of about 350 city employees, along with eliminating about 1,000 vacant jobs, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
At one point, the city was confident that it would receive federal stimulus funds to fill the budget gap created in the pandemic-driven recession. But federal aid is nowhere in sight, and Lightfoot is obligated to balance the budget without it.
An anonymous alderman told the Sun-Times that her proposal would have a tough time to get approval from the City Council.
“When Rahm [Emanuel] proposed the $588 million property tax increase [for police and fire pensions and school construction], it was tough for him, and he had a good relationship with the City Council,” the alderman told the outlet. “Lori Lightfoot doesn’t have any friends in the City Council, so it’ll be even tougher.”
Lightfoot is also likely to take a large tax-increment-financing surplus to mitigate the deficit. [Chicago Sun Times] — Akiko Matsuda