Chicago can cut hundreds of millions from its budget: Here’s how

By: GEORGE CARDENAS  – CRAIN’S CHICAGO BUSINESS

Chicago’s future will continue to be uncertain if we do not address our structural imbalances and looming debt. It is imperative that the city take immediate steps to fix our budget woes. The markets will not wait, and taxpayers can’t afford it either.

There are several paths to stability. Enacting the following changes could save $613 million this year alone.

Create an enterprise fund for the Department of Streets and Sanitation. I oppose privatization. The way to avoid this long term is with an enterprise fund model, which would free $116 million a year from the corporate fund. If Streets and Sanitation charged $10 a month per single-family unit in a home, it would fund its own budget. In addition, the department could generate additional revenue by enforcing lot pickup, tire pickup and bulk pickup fees among other violations.

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