Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that he has reached an agreement with City Council members on several items in the proposed 2012 budget and will submit formal amendments to his budget plan on Monday.
“We have held to our principles, followed through on the tough choices and that’s a win for Chicagoans and their future,” said Mayor Emanuel.
Mayor Emanuel was joined at the announcement by Ald. Carrie Austin (34th), Chairman of the Committee on Budget and Government Operations, Vice-Chairman Brendan Reilly (42nd) and Budget Director Alex Holt.
“This process is about working together to reach a balanced budget plan that will provide the people of Chicago with quality services, while keeping those services affordable to taxpayers,” said Alderman Austin. “These amendments will help accomplish that goal.”
The amendments to the mayor’s budget plan will include the following:
- Restoring $3.3 million to the library budget to allow for a full six-day-a-week schedule when school is out, during the summer months and over holiday breaks, providing children with more library access when they are away from school.
- The reduced schedule on Monday and Friday mornings will resume during the school year with agreement from the unions. The move will restore more than 100 of the planned library layoffs.
City Vehicle Sticker
- Maintaining the weight threshold for heavier passenger vehicles at 4,500 lbs.
- Increasing the tier for lighter vehicles by $10 (from $75 to $85) and the heavier tier by $15 (from $120 to $135).
- The planned increases for truck stickers will remain as proposed. Stickers for motorcycles will remain at their current rates. Discounted sticker fees for seniors will also remain at current rates. Several groups, including veterans, the disabled, and government entities will continue to receive sticker fee waivers.
- The amendments to sticker fees will be revenue-neutral to the original proposal.
- Increasing fines (from $120 to $200) for sticker scofflaws and late fees (from $40 to $60).
- Extending a discount on fees for water services to all non-profit organizations with less than $250 million in assets.
- The three-year phased-in discount will be 60% in 2012, 40% in 2013 and 20% in 2014 and beyond.
- The amendments will result in approximately $12 million in lost revenue for the water and sewer funds over the next three years, which will be absorbed by the fee increases scheduled to begin next year.
Streets and Sanitation
- Restoring $1 million worth of lot cleaning, weed cutting and graffiti removal services.
The changes in the budget proposal will be cost neutral in that the additional $4.3 million in corporate fund expenses will be offset by the additional revenue from increasing the fines and enforcement for vehicle sticker scofflaws.
Mayor Emanuel announced his budget plan last month that included $417 million worth of expense reductions to help close a $635 million gap between expected revenues and expenses next year.
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