Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Emanuel Budget Banks On a Brighter Economy

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel will unveil his 2013 budget Wednesday without increases to property, sales, fuel or amusement taxes. He also will eliminate the employee head tax.

    How does he plan to pay for that in the face of a nearly $300 million shortfall?

    "There will not be any taxes, there will not be any new fees, and we'll make critical investments that will ... continue to help us improve this city and compete for jobs and the ability for families to raise their children," Emanuel said Tuesday at an unrelated news conference.

    The mayor also is banking on more revenue from an improving economy. The administration predicts $45 million in revenue growth from shared state income taxes and a number of other collections.

    Emanuel further is counting on $69 million in higher debt collection, getting millions for the city in TIF funds as well as saving money by spending less on health care.

    "We can balance the budget, hold the line on taxes, and make critical investments for our city to move forward," Emanuel said. "We're at a budget that I think builds on the progress of the last budget, we have significant reforms that have brought through the type of savings we need on behalf of the taxpayers."

    Aldermen are questioning how the mayor will do this, though, and say they want more details.