Thursday, November 17, 2016

Rahm's Chicago: Families pay $1700 more in taxes, mostly for city pensions

Blogger on site of his mother's
old Chicago home
Years ago Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley made a deal with the devil, well not really, it was with public-sector union bosses, to hike the pensions of municipal workers. Daley, who chose not to run for reelection in 2011, is a Democrat and the government unions essentially lead the labor wing of the Democratic Party.

But the unions, who believed the promises of the politicians and Daley and the exclusively Democratic City Council, didn't fund those generous pension plans.

Now Chicago taxpayers, most of whom don't have their own pensions, have begun to bailout those plans. The city's bonds are already rated as junk.

From the Chicago Tribune:
Left unsaid during all of this optimism? The average family will pay nearly $1,700 more a year to the city and Chicago Public Schools than they did before the mayor took office in 2011 once all of Emanuel's tax and fee increases take full effect. There's been a series of property tax hikes. There was a water and sewer rate increase, plus a new tax on top of that. Not to mention a new garbage hauling fee, 911 phone tax hike, vehicle sticker fee increase and a tax on cable television.

Even with all of that, taxpayers may be asked for more money in the coming years. Emanuel's plans for shoring up long-neglected city worker pension funds will require the city to come up with hundreds of millions of dollars more by the early to mid-2020s.

"We shouldn't be running around giving high fives until we're clearly on a path to solvency," Ald. Scott Waguespack, 32nd, said after the budget vote.

Glossed over during what turned out to be just minutes of discussion on the budget Wednesday was that the $8.2 billion spending plan relies on one significant new tax to balance the books — a more than 30 percent charges on city sewer and water bills once fully phased in four years from now. The $239 million a year raised will go into the city's pension fund for municipal workers.
Meanwhile Chicago's infrastructure continues to crumble. You don't believe me? Take a drive--not on the expressways--in Chicago and find out for yourself. Of the roads I've been on, only Detroit's streets are in worse shape.

Decline and fall.

Illinois law needs to be changed so municipalities and government agencies can file for bankruptcy.

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