October 16, 2009

No Property Tax Increase In 2010 City Budget

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Richard M. Daley said today the proposed 2010 City budget - to be presented next week to the City Council -- will not include an increase in the property tax and will not include any new tax, fine or fee increase or any new tax, fee or fine of any kind.

"The economic recession that has plagued our nation for well over a year continues to affect most of Chicago working families," the Mayor said in a City Hall news conference.

"I understand that times are still tough for people and I don’t feel right asking them to pay for more city government right now," he said

The Mayor said that people are still losing their jobs as businesses continue to cut spending and adjust to a new economic reality.

He said businesses aren't able to create enough new jobs, families are still losing their homes to foreclosure and credit remains tight.

 Daley said that every level of government across the nation is facing the same challenge of still-falling revenues.

He gave these examples for Chicago:

  • Income tax revenues are expected to fall by an additional $55 million below 2009 levels.
  • The real estate transaction tax is projected to drop an additional $2 million from the record-low 2009 levels.
  • And sales taxes are also projected to drop an additional $25 million below 2009 levels.

The Mayor pointed out that Chicago acted early in the recession to cut spending and get ahead of slowing revenues.

 Some other cities didn't act as quickly or boldly and have been forced to eliminate key services, such as police, fire and 311 services.

"In Chicago, we haven't eliminated any service -- instead we've tried to do more with less and provide services more efficiently," Daley said.

The Mayor said that:

  • Last year, the City cut more than $168 million in spending.
  • This year, the City has already cut spending by $59 million and plans to cut it even further through improved management and efficiencies.
  • This year, the City reached meaningful agreements with many of its unions -- agreements that helped avoid layoffs and continue to provide basic services.
  • Chicago will reduce city services for three days this year and Daley and his top managers are taking a total of 15 unpaid days this year.
  • Other cities have been forced to raise taxes and fees, including property taxes, the sales tax and gas tax to balance their budgets. I won't support that in Chicago," Daley said.

He said final details of the proposed 2010 budget are still being worked on and he assured taxpayers the budget will protect them.

"The budget we'll offer next week will operate government more efficiently and openly, even as we invest in our city's key needs," he said.