Chicago's City Council on Wednesday voted 46-4 to approve Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2015 Chicago budget that includes a tax hike on parking in city garages.
Ahead of the mayoral election, the budget includes no planned property, sales or gas tax hikes, but Emanuel has other ways of trying to close an estimated $300 million budget gap.
The budget calls for a 2 percent increase at public parking lots, bringing the city parking tax up to 22 percent on weekdays and 20 percent on weekends. The hike is projected to bring the city an additional $10 million in 2015.
In exchange, the mayor wants to hire an additional 80 employees to help fill more than a million potholes every year.
The budget also includes investments in neighborhood services, such as four additional graffiti removal crews, a 30 percent increase in rodent control crews and more than 7,500 trees planted.
The parking tax marks the third time Emanuel has raised or changed parking rates to bring in more city revenue, and commuters aren't pleased
"We already pay enough to park in the city, whether it be on the street or in a parking garage," commuter Andrew Skowkonski said.
There also won't be breaks for those who own skyboxes at Chicago stadiums. The mayor wants to end the amusement tax exemption on those boxes, which could earn another $4 million for the city.