CHICAGO - The mayor-appointed Chicago School Board voted Wednesday to accept a $5.4 billion budget, tentatively balanced with yet another property tax hike for next year.
The Tribune details:
As it has done for more than two decades, CPS will boost its regular property tax levy to the maximum amount allowed by law. The district also will collect again on a capital improvement property tax enacted last year to finance borrowing for school infrastructure projects.
But the biggest jump will come from a new tax expected to generate $250 million to help cover the district's massive teacher pension obligations. CPS officials say the district's total tax increases would cost the owner of a $250,000 home an extra $245.
The CPS tax hikes represent the latest financial pain city government has inflicted. Homeowners this month started feeling the effect of last year's record city property tax hike to shore up police and fire pensions, a $554 annual increase for the owner of a $250,000 home that's being phased in over four years.
Chicagoans also are paying $1.40 a month more in 911 fees for each landline and cellphone to cover city laborers' pensions. Next month, Emanuel is expected to call for a vote on his proposal for a new water and sewer service tax that'll eventually cost the average user $115.20 a year. The money will be poured into the city municipal workers' pension fund.
Under Emanuel, the city also has doubled water and sewer fees to modernize the system and enacted a $9.50-per-month garbage pickup fee.
And, despite more funds, the Chicago Public Schools face a crippling pension obligation while they report a slowly declining enrollment rate.
More on Wednesday's decision HERE.