Chicago’s looking at a lot of red ink due to coronavirus-related shutdowns. What kinds of cuts might the city soon see to keep its financials afloat? We speak with four people who will likely have a say in those decisions.
Each year, city officials define a budget for Chicago. While the city budget process includes public hearings, an event Saturday sought to get community input on their budget priorities.
Several aldermen on Friday urged Chicago’s chief financial officer to dip into the city’s $900 million savings account to wipe out the massive budget shortfall caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Chicago’s chief financial officer warned aldermen Monday that taxing big firms and financial transactions would not help dig the city out of a massive budget hole caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The office designed to help aldermen keep tabs on how the city spends tax dollars detailed a proposal on Thursday that finds savings by cutting “perks” and things that are “nice to have, but need not have.”
On top of that colossal shortfall, the city’s financial picture worsened significantly during the past three months because of an “economic catastrophe caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” according to Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
In 2018, the City Council’s most powerful committee spent approximately $2 million — the most of any of the legislative committees. The following year, the committee spent $1.1 million. The difference? Ald. Ed Burke resigned as chair on Jan. 4, 2019.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot took the first step Thursday toward making the long-planned Chicago casino a reality, asking firms interested in building and operating “a unique entertainment and gaming experience” to make their pitch to city officials.
Chicago is facing a lot of unfunded infrastructure needs in the coming years, according to officials. And it’s not just roads, bridges and streetlights that need work. The city’s lakefront is grappling with another year of high lake levels.
In June, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the pandemic had blown a $700 million hole in the city’s budget, the last time she gave a detailed update on the city’s finances.
The growing share of city property taxes sent to tax increment finance districts is sure to fuel the argument over whether the districts actually spur redevelopment and eradicate blight or exacerbate growing inequality in Chicago.
Chicago’s pension debt soared by approximately $1.7 billion in 2019, according to the city’s audited annual financial report released Thursday.
Aldermen signed off on Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s plan to spend $1.13 billion in federal funds designed to help the city cover the cost of responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
Protesters across the city and nation continue to push for police reforms that some elected officials say should include defunding the police. That’s just one of the topics on the City Council’s packed agenda Wednesday.
The final cost to hire 100 private security guards to patrol the South and West sides to protect businesses from a second weekend of looting and damage that never materialized was $400,000, Chicago officials said.
The dire financial picture for Chicago comes after Mayor Lori Lightfoot insisted through mid-April that the city was well-prepared to weather the economic storm whipped up by COVID-19.