Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Mayor Rejects LSD Toll, Taxes to Fix Deficit

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Chicago's inspector general on Tuesday tossed the mayor a few budget-balancing suggestions. And by a few, we mean 44 spending cuts, as well as 19 ways to earn America's most taxed city more revenue, mostly by adding taxes and raising fees.

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants more Chicago budget-mending ideas, but he made it clear Tuesday that raising taxes shouldn't be one of them.

    "As I have said from the beginning, raising property taxes, income taxes or sales taxes is off the table," Emanuel said in a statement. "And asking drivers on Lake Shore Drive to pay a toll is also a non-starter."

    He responded to a report released this week by Chicago's inspector general, offering up suggestions for the city to save money and generate more revenue. Several of the money-making ideas involved imposing new taxes and, in one case, even charging a toll on Lake Shore Drive.

    “In last year’s report, we provided data and analysis explaining that Chicago’s budget was fundamentally broken,” said Inspector General Joseph Ferguson in a statement. “One year later, the situation remains difficult."

    Emanuel called a number of the reforms suggested in Ferguson's report promising and said the city has already implemented some of them.

    He said he would consider other ideas but still wants more input.

    "Across Chicago, residents, Aldermen and now the Inspector General have proposed ideas to tackle the difficult fiscal challenges ahead," Emanuel said. "Anything that will protect taxpayers and maintain the quality of services the City provides should be considered."