You reap what you sow
I have no tears for the fools who vote for
big spenders from either party.
(AP) — After watching for years as their city's financial troubles piled up, Chicago homeowners will be told this week that it's time for them to start paying the tab.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected to propose a large increase in property taxes to help eliminate billions of dollars in pension and other municipal debt and to repair the school system's low credit rating. Residents also may face more taxes and fees on garbage collection, sugary drinks and other services.
It's unclear how residents and businesses will respond. Emanuel has faced raucous crowds at public budget hearings, but the political fallout for the former chief of staff to President Barack Obama could be delayed because he doesn't face re-election until 2019.
Some homeowners, landlords and business owners complain they already pay more than other cities in gasoline prices, sales taxes and parking. Chicago's sales tax rate is 10.25 percent, the nation's highest.
"Paying for picking up garbage? That's ridiculous. That's what my taxes are for," said homeowner James Young, 48, who works for a textile company. "Your pay check doesn't increase every time the taxes increase."
However, there have been few signs the proposal would fail in the city council, which has largely been a rubber stamp for the mayor.
The city's financial problems have been mounting because of inadequate contributions to the pension system and questionable borrowing, mostly under former Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Chicago has the worst-funded public pension system of any major American city and a budget shortfall of at least $750 million. Illinois' governor, Republican Bruce Rauner, has even suggested that the city school district declare bankruptcy.Read More . . . .