Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Another property tax increase coming soon...

Chicago Board of Education
Remember during the 2015 municipal elections where I expressed support for an elected school board - though my idea was a hybrid with both appointed and elected members? Well we need to get to work on this idea especially if Gov. Bruce Rauner signs legislation that sets up another property tax increase here in Chicago that would be approved not by Chicago Aldermen, but by the appointed Chicago board of education.

Tapped-out Chicago property owners would face yet another tax hit for teacher pensions — but their aldermen would escape another difficult vote — under a historic new statewide school funding deal now headed to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk.

That “compromise” bill — approved by Illinois lawmakers this week — authorizes the Chicago Board of Education, comprised of mayoral appointees, to impose a property-tax hike worth $125 million without any involvement whatsoever from the Chicago City Council, whose members are elected.

The Board of Education does indeed plan to approve the increase, enabling the Chicago Public Schools to walk away with a total of $450 million in new state and local money for the 2017-18 school year once Rauner puts his signature on the bill, school officials said.

Rauner plans a bill-signing ceremony on Thursday, his office said.

It’s unclear when the city’s school board will take up the property-tax increase.

This hike would amount to a 2.5 percent increase in the tax bill for an average Chicago homeowner. The owner of a home worth $200,000 would pay an additional $83 in property taxes, records show.
It brings to mind a recent column written by John Ruberry of Marathon Pundit
In Chicago it’s great to be part of the ruling class. But Chicago’s roads are crumbling, barely one out of four of its students in its government schools read at grade level, its bond rating is the lowest among major cities, and businesses lack confidence in Chicago and Illinois as a whole. If you are part of Chicago’s ruling class you might view high taxes as a downpayment on your next paycheck or your retirement, but Chicagoans endure the nation’s highest sales tax rate and they were slugged with the highest property tax increase in the city’s history to fund public-worker pensions.

Yet Chicago’s public pensions are the worst-funded among America’s biggest cities--at a rate of just 25 percent of its obligations. But the cruel joke may be on these well-compensated public-servants. Despite the strong pension protection clause in the Illinois constitution, a pension “haircut” seems unavoidable for retirees. Michigan has similar wording it its constitution, yet Detroit municipal retirees saw their pension checks cut after the Motor City declared bankruptcy.
h/t Newsalert

BTW, what you see in that Newsalert post is a screencap of the Sun-Times front page which is what I share now.

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