Politics

Rahm Emanuel Proposes $588M Property Tax To Shift Money To Public Pensions

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday he wants to raise property taxes by $588 million over the next four years, largely to be used to fill the city’s $20 billion pension gap.

During a meeting with the city council, Obama’s former chief of staff said without the hike, the city would have to lay off nearly 40 percent of its firefighters.

“It will begin with an increase in our payment for this year of $318 million, and then increase by 109 million dollars next year, $53 million in 2017 and $63 million in 2018,” Emanuel said in his remarks. “This increase will fund our obligations to the police and fire pension funds and put the city on a stronger and more sustainable path for the first time in decades.”

In addition to pensions, an additional $45 million would go toward construction on Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The mayor said he wanted to ensure the “burden is borne by those who can best afford it,”

The new tax would mostly affect homeowner’s whose properties are valued at over $250,000, who would see an annual increase of nearly $600.

In an attempt to raise $60 million in revenue, residents will also be subject to a monthly $9.50 trash collection fee, lower income residents would pay half the fee.  New fees for ride-sharing services and an extension of the tobacco tax to include e-cigerttes and chewing tobacco would also be implemented under the plan.

The city has been struggling financially, but the budget proposal increases taxes more than experts initially anticipated.

Moody’s Analytics downgraded the city’s credit rating earlier this year, placing it just a step above the  Detroit, which received the lowest marks.

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.