Council OKs budget with $720M in new taxes, fines, fees

By Tina Sfondeles and Fran Spielman – Chicago Sun-Times

It’s a big pill for some homeowners to swallow and a vote that could cut short aldermanic careers, but the City Council on Wednesday approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s call to raise the city’s property taxes by $588 million and add a separate fee for garbage collection.

Before the 36-14 vote on the funding for his budget, Emanuel called the city’s finances “a dark cloud” that has been eroding the confidence of Chicagoans.

He called the property tax hike, spread over four years, the only choice: “There was no other choice. No one ever presented, anywhere, another choice.”

“Is it a piece of art? I don’t think anyone would ever say that,” Emanuel said, adding the budget “will leave us better off.”

Emanuel’s lower-the-boom budget will be funded in part by more than $720 million in new taxes, fines and fees.

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