Rahm Emanuel

Emanuel’s Tax Plan Clears First Hurdle in Finance Committee Vote

The committee did not vote on the entire plan, however, delaying their final vote until Wednesday

Mayor Rahm Emanuel revealed his 2016 budget proposal in September to the dismay of many Chicago homeowners, but the plan, which calls for the largest property tax increase in modern Chicago history, cleared its first hurdle in passage Tuesday.

The city's Finance Committee voted to pass the $543 million property tax increase in a 17-10 vote, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The committee did not vote on the remainder of the tax plan, including the $45 million property tax levy to modernize CPS schools, instead delaying the vote until Wednesday.

The dissenting aldermen were, according to the Sun-Times, Leslie Hairston (5th), Roberto Maldonado (26th), Jason Ervin (28th), Scott Waguespack (32nd), Nick Sposato (36th), Brendan Reilly (42nd), John Arena (45th), Tom Tunney (44th), Harry Osterman (48th) and Debra Silverstein (50th).

The full City Council is scheduled to vote on the budget on Oct. 28.

"Unfortunately, the city's structural deficit, while serious, is not the only challenge we are facing," Emanuel said in his budget address last month. "It is not even the biggest. Our greatest financial challenge today is the exploding cost of our unpaid pensions. It is a big dark cloud that hangs over the rest of our city's finances."

If it passes the final vote, the tax hike will be implemented year by year through 2018, going up by $318 million in 2015, $109 million in 2016, $53 million in 2017 and $63 million in 2018, according to the mayor's office.

In addition to the property tax hike, the mayor's budget proposal also includes a garbage collection tax of $9.50 per month per household as well as new fees for e-cigarettes, which are expected to generate $1 million in revenue in 2016, according to the mayor's office.

New rideshare and taxi fees were also proposed by the mayor with the intent of creating $60 million in revenue next year.

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