One citizen's take on the Dick that makes Chicago tick.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Surprise Surprise, there's another budget doomsday in Chicago and your property taxes are going up! Even though Mayor Daley asked them not to and said tax increases would be a last resort, Chicago Public Schools are raising our taxes:

Faced with a “tsunami” of teacher pension costs, Chicago public school officials want to raise city property taxes by $43 million, or 1.5 percent, a new budget released today indicates.


And, [Chicago Schools CEO Ron Huberman] warned, even worse news is ahead. The next budget deficit, in fiscal year 2011, could top $900 million — a hole so big the system would have to increase class sizes and eliminate teachers unless “cost containment on the pension and wage fronts’’ is achieved, Huberman said.


The proposed property tax hike would be the 13th time in 14 years that CPS has raised property taxes for schools since Daley’s 1995 school takeover. Last year was the only time no such increase was levied, with Daley saying at the time, “Chicago taxpayers deserve a break. People are hurting.’’

This year, residents are suffering even more, with layoffs and furlough days mounting, houses locked in foreclosure, nest eggs shrinking and anger off the charts about the steep increases in parking meter rates.

And here's Mayor Daley defending this tax hike:

“They’re not raising property taxes. We’re abating 50 percent of the property tax. ... Instead of going up to $83 [million] or $100 million, we’re abating about fifty-some million,” Daley said.

“We’re abating almost 50 percent [of what the tax increase could be]. That’s what we’re doing. Any other questions?”

Uh, I got a lot of questions. Like ARE YOU SERIOUS? And, please go away. Wait, that wasn't a question.

Mayor Daley thinks because the tax hike is only half of what it could be, that it is somehow defensible. Defending the indefensible. Only in Daleyland.

And who is he to talk?:

Over the last two years alone, Daley has raised taxes, fines and fees by a whopping $329 million, including an $83.4 million property tax increase, the largest property tax increase in Chicago history.

The City Council also approved a 40 percent increase in the city's real estate transfer tax to bail out the CTA.

The mayor’s preliminary 2010 budget has a $520 million gap that can only be closed by cutting services, raising taxes or a combination of the two.

But wait! It looks like our compliant little aldermen are not pleased with the possibility of another tax hike:

“People are despondent. They’re frustrated. They’re sitting on the sidelines waiting for this elusive recovery to appear on the horizon,” Northwest Side Ald. Tom Allen (38th) said Tuesday.

“It’s a little less … politically radioactive when you’re talking about educating our kids. ... It’s not like handing out money to developers. But, part of it goes back to all the money we have tied up in [tax-increment- financing]. If that money wasn’t siphoned off to all the TIF districts, it would be available to education.”

Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd) predicted that the $43 million school property tax increase would bring long-simmering anger among his constituents to a boil.

“This is clearly another step that’s gonna force more people out of the city. People are gonna say, ‘What’s the value of our education system? Where are we going with it?’” Fioretti said.

Speaking of budgets and taxes and Mayor Daley in our pockets, check out this tremendous post at Progress Illinois - Daley's House of Cards:

It means Daley has, for years now, been building a house of cards. Rather than facing the problem head-on and developing new sources of revenue, the mayor has chased short-term fixes. He has leased valuable public assets despite evidence that the deals represent a long-term loss to taxpayers. Meanwhile, he has watched hundreds of millions in public dollars flow towards his tax increment financing (TIF) fiefdom. Apparently, he is just crossing his fingers that the Olympic bid or a rejuvenated economy will save him from this downward spiral. In the midst of all this, the mayor has asked city workers to sacrifice again and again, despite the fact that the resulting savings are negligible.

Summary: Taxes for schools are going up for the 13th time since 1995...and things look even worse for next year...and Mayor Daley's still got over $1 billion in TIF funds...and he's handing it out to corporations and developers...and people are losing their jobs and homes...and mayor Dick's got a great idea - let's get the Olympics! One house of cards, coming right up.

Enough! Let's get rid of this bum Daley! DTMFA!

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