CHICAGO (CBS) —With Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s $12.8 billion budget plan as taxpayers, are Chicagoans getting what they paid for?
One non-partisan budget watchdog group said the mayor had some hard choices to make.
“This is something that wasn’t created by Mayor Lightfoot,” said Lawrence Msall of the Civic Federation. “We’re all paying more taxes to pay for past debt of this budget, so it’s a balancing act.”
The mayor mentioned the city hopes to save $19 million on what it budgets for settlements and judgements, thanks to new search warrant policies and training. The new policies, a response to the pattern of wrong raids uncovered by CBS 2 Investigators.
But taxpayers could still be on the hook for multiple million-dollar lawsuits on bad raids that happened even after the new policy went into effect, and many others before.
Facing an unprecedented $1.2 billion shortfall for next year, Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday proposed a $94 million property tax hike, a 3 cents per gallon increase in the city’s gas tax, hundreds of layoffs, and eliminating nearly 2,000 vacant positions.
Also proposed is an annual property tax hike that would be tied to inflation every year going forward. Lightfoot’s budget documents note the city’s property tax levy went virtually unchanged for nearly 20 years before former Mayor Rahm Emanuel pushed through a $588 million property tax hike in 2015.
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