POLL: Chicago Voters Balk at Emanuel's $250 Million Property Tax Hike - NBC Chicago
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POLL: Chicago Voters Balk at Emanuel's $250 Million Property Tax Hike




    File under "News That Will Surprise Exactly No One": an overwhelming majority of Chicago voters despise Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to shore up city pension funds with a $250 million property tax increase.

    A survey commissioned by Capitol Fax's Rich Miller posed the question: "Despite recent pension reform legislation in Springfield, the city of Chicago must still come up with $50 million next year and $250 million a year in five years to fully fund just two of the city's six pension systems. Mayor Rahm Emanuel says property taxes will likely go up to prevent cutting needed city services. Do you agree with Mayor Emanuel that a property tax increase is probably necessary?"

    No way, said 73 percent of the 979 survey-takers. Nineteen percent ruled in favor while eight percent weren't sure.

    "Of course no one likes property taxes, but we can't keep waiting to confront this issue. The mayor is open to other options, but the longer we wait, the harder the fix will be," Emanuel representative Pete Giangreco told Miller, who concurs that a decision needs to be made sooner rather than later amid an increasingly ominous pension crisis.

    Emanuel's measure awaits the signature of Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, who has expressed opposition to raising property taxes. Although Quinn suggested sharing state income tax revenue as an alternative, Emanuel shot down that suggestion. He squashed an idea by Chicago Teachers Union boss Karen Lewis to tax transactions at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

    Meanwhile, the mayor -- up for re-election in February 2015 -- has been doing preliminary damagecontrol to counterbalance the slew of bleak poll numbers, negative newspaper headlines and #OneTermMayor hashtags predicting that his days in City Hall are numbered.

    Asked to rate Emanuel's job performance, 54 percent gave the mayor a thumbs-down compared with a 36 percent vote of approval. Ten percent checked off the undecided box.

    That sounds about right, given mounting evidence of anti-Rahm sentiment.

    How do you vote?