Anyone who still thinks unfunded government pension liabilities are a free lunch, please consult Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. On Tuesday he proposed a gigantic tax increase for a city that already carries a heavy tax burden.
At Chicago’s City Hall, Mr. Emanuel proposed what he says are some $600 million in annual tax and fee increases, including $588 million in property tax increases phased in over four years. The Illinois Policy Institute says the real total in new property tax revenue over four years will be $1.768 billion in a fiscal 2016 budget of $9.3 billion.But that is not the worst of it. WSJ continues:
All that cash will do little or nothing to improve city services. Mr. Emanuel says $543 million will fund pensions for firemen and police. The remaining $45 million by his calculation will go to cover capital improvements for public-school buildings.
Mr. Emanuel also proposed a potpourri of other new taxes on Tuesday, including $60 million on ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft, charging city residents about $10 a month for garbage collection, a tax on e-cigarettes and $13 million in higher building permit fees.