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It’s about the tax hike

Friday, Apr 4, 2014

* After talking about “intrigue” and “mysteries” for days, the Chicago media finally woke up to what has really gone wrong with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s pension reform bill. I mean, just look at this story from two days ago

Gov. Pat Quinn on Wednesday trotted out his running mate Paul Vallas to hammer Republican challenger Bruce Rauner’s position that the state income tax rate should rolled back, saying doing so would result in huge cuts to education and spikes in local property tax rates. [Emphasis added.]

* Much of last week’s budget address was about how Illinois’ high property taxes were holding the state economy back

In Illinois, more is collected in property taxes every year than in the state income tax and state sales tax combined. In fact, Illinois has one of the highest property tax burdens on homeowners in the nation - more than 20 percent above the national average. The property tax is not based on ability to pay. The property tax is a complicated, unfair tax, hitting middle class families the hardest.

* Flash-forward

If the mayor’s pension reform plan is approved by state lawmakers, the governor and local aldermen, the city’s share of property would increase over 30 percent by the year 2020.

* So, bingo. Now everybody knows what’s up. It’s the taxes, man

Gov. Pat Quinn finds himself in a bit of a political pickle: he’s running for re-election on a pledge to cut property taxes, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to raise Chicago property taxes as part of a plan to shore up the city’s ailing government worker pension systems. […]

Signing a city pension bill that would end up with a Chicago property tax increase would run counter to Quinn’s campaign message ahead of the Nov. 4 election.

* The Governor made it pretty darned certain yesterday where he stands

I wanna make it clear: I believe in reducing the burden of property taxes in our state.”

* And it’s not just Gov. Quinn

“Right now, a lot of people are concerned about the property tax part of the bill,” said Rep. Mike Zalewski, a Riverside Democrat who supports the bill. “It all came up all of a sudden, and a lot of us were thrown off.” […]

“We’re nowhere right now. I think our members had reservations about granting a new levy authority for the city of Chicago,” said [House GOP leader Jim Durkin], who added that the legislature needs to help Chicago find a way to resolve its financial problem.

* More

Municipal pension funds are created and governed by state law, so the General Assembly must approve changes. The Chicago plan would increase employee contributions and reduce benefits to retirees. But lawmakers don’t want their fingerprints on any city council vote to raise taxes.

“A lot of us would like to see the aldermen take that vote before we do ours … ,” said Chicago Democratic Rep. Kenneth Dunkin, leader of the Legislative Black Caucus. “We’re starting down here, but there are no assurances the city of Chicago, the aldermen, will follow suit.” […]

“There’s really no reason for any mention of real estate taxes in that pension bill … ,” said Rep. Ron Sandack, a Downers Grove Republican. “For me, I’m not going to vote for a pension bill that has any mention of even a permissive, suggestion of raising taxes. That’s for them.”

* But there’s a problem

Matt Brandon, secretary-treasurer of SEIU Local 73, said his union, which has about 10,000 members affected by the city pension plan, believes the property-tax guarantee should remain in the package.

“There has to be a revenue guarantee to make this bill the bill we sat down and agreed to with the city of Chicago,” Brandon told Early & Often.

“If what happens with this bill eliminates the revenue guarantee that all of the unions sat there and negotiated with the city, no, we can’t support this bill because that’s the only way we get the pensions 90-percent funded by 2054,” Brandon said.

* SEIU is also trying to calm some nerves. The CTU went after Rep. Christian Mitchell (D-Chicago) hard in the primary, but the SEIU’s Brandon is attempting to assure nervous legislators that his union will have their backs

Brandon, however, tried to calm that sentiment by telling reticent city Democrats his union — and others backing the mayor’s plan — would be with them come election time if they vote for the city pension package.

* But SEIU’s message may not be getting out

Emanuel said he had agreement from 31 labor unions involved, but representatives from three — including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Chicago Teachers Union — oppose it. Those are powerful voices, said Nekritz, and lawmakers haven’t been lobbied by the groups Emanuel says are in favor.

“We’re not hearing anything from them to say, `Yes, do this’… ,” Nekritz said. “That sends a message.”

* But notice how toned down Rauner’s reaction is

A spokesman for venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, Quinn’s Republican opponent in the November election, said in a statement that Rauner disagreed with the mayor’s proposal.

“Bruce has always maintained that true pension reform requires moving towards a defined contribution style system and believes that should also be part of the solution for Chicago,” said campaign spokesman Mike Schrimpf.

Compare that to his rants on the state pension reform bill and this is unbelievably mild.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


41 Comments
  1. - Tsavo - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    http://seiu73.org/2013/11/08/legislators-pass-park-district-pension-reform/

    Rich,

    What am I missing here? SEIU73 supports this bill,
    but is against the bill that passed for Chicago Park District (see link) pension changes because it changed the COLA for retirees. This current bill changes the COLA for retirees so why are they supporting it?


  2. - A guy... - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    I’ve been saying for months the people in Voterland are very resentful of property taxes that were high and increasing when their home values were decreasing. They viewed it as repressing and unfair. They are angry. They’ve let their local reps know they’re angry. The longest line in Springfield will be the one to the Speakers office to get permission to vote against this “dog”. If they don’t get permission, they will do the unspeakable…they’ll oppose the speaker. And he knows it. Thus, no vote.


  3. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    You wonder why Emanuel didn’t try this move last year. It’s a heavy lift in an election year with income taxes already in play.

    Did he think a half billion or so was going to drop out of the sky for him?


  4. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 10:03 am:

    ===This current bill changes the COLA for retirees so why are they supporting it? ===

    Because they’re worried that there will be no pension at all if they don’t do something. It’s in one of the stories I read today, but now I can’t find it.


  5. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    ===You wonder why Emanuel didn’t try this move last year.===

    Because they couldn’t even pass a state reform plan last year.


  6. - Walker - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    Ask any homeowner what they pay in taxes, and they will tell you exactly what their property tax bill is, while being clueless what they paid the state in income taxes.

    They want all taxes to go down, but if you’re figuring out a way to get more state revenue, then the strategy of being seen as “lowering” property tax, while “increasing” income tax, is by far the safest bet.

    You got to the core of it, Rich.


  7. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    - You wonder why Emanuel didn’t try this move last year. -

    Wasn’t the plan last year to get permission to skip the payment?


  8. - Reformed Public Servant - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 10:15 am:

    ===You wonder why Emanuel didn’t try this move last year.===

    Because his friend Bruce is now running against Quinn, and this is how Rahm can “silently” help Bruce… outwardly work for team D, but internally sabatoge it!


  9. - GA Watcher - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    Why should the Republicans care if Chicago wants to raise property taxes to pay for this latest pension deal? It’s not as if there are many Republican legislators representing the City for which this would be a tough vote. You could protect them by making sure they vote no.

    If Mayor Emanuel and the 28 unions that negotiated the bill want to increase property taxes on Chicago property owners, let them live with the consequences.


  10. - austinman - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 10:23 am:

    I agree with you Reformed Public Servant. This is great way to help Bruce out.


  11. - Chicago Publius - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    Walker is right that voters are sensitive to property taxes. They get the damned bill twice a year, and if they’re not escrowing, they they have to cut a big check twice a year. in contrast, sales taxes are stealthy. The total amount of sales taxes paid in a year is invisible, unless we keep a running tally every time we buy something — and who the hey does that? And the state income tax, while visible, is mostly over-shadowed by the federal income tax. So, compared to the other taxes, voters CARE about property taxes because those taxes are highly visible, they punch you in a big way twice a year, and they seem very high. The other reason voters get hetted up about property taxes is that those taxes aren’t based on an activity where you are getting something or doing something. The sales tax is paid after you got something in your hand. The income tax is paid after you got money in your hand. But when you pay your property tax, it’s not as if you’ve GOT anything new or DONE anything new to compensate for the tax. In other words, with the property tax, the government isn’t taking a cut of a transaction that gets you something new (the sales tax) or a cut of a transaction that gets you more money (the income tax). Rather, the government is just taking money out of your pocket for something that you’ve already paid for, at a cumulative amount that has no bearing on the value of the thing taxed. (Remember: the total amount of the tax levy is not based on the value of the homes; its’s based on what the local government’s budgetary needs.)

    The bottom line is this: from the perspective of the voter, the tax on real-estate is just as irritating as a “refrigerator tax.” You already own one, you’ve already paid a tax or a fee when you got it, and now the government wants to extract more money out of you each year simply because your name is on the title.


  12. - SAP - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    As a long-time resident of Sangamon County, I would love to have property tax rates like the City of Chicago. Would more than offset their higher sales taxes.


  13. - Anonymous - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    Why do pensions have to be funded by property taxes? How about using some TIF money? Or is that part of the deal with the building trades? If you throw your public sector members under the bus, we’ll leave the TIF money alone so your private sector members benefit.
    Hardly anything is less popular than the property tax. Legislators should look for alternative sources of revenue and preserve the current benefit levels.
    .


  14. - Been There - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    ===Did he think a half billion or so was going to drop out of the sky for him? ====
    If the gaming bill ever passes and Chicago gets to keep their profits, then, maybe not a half billion but at least $300 mil per year in revenue would keep those property tax increases a lot, lot lower.


  15. - NotPurple - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    Is Local 73 really attempting to say that they carry as much weight politically as CTU does?

    In the Mitchell/Travis race, CTU spent well over $100K in their attempt to take out Mitchell. SEIU Local 73 spent $5k on Travis, and interestingly spent another $8k in in-kinds to Mitchell. Throw in the IFT/IEA and AFSCME, and Local 73 contributed $5K to the $350k or more that the other labor folks spent.

    So Local 73 is attempting to say that because they spent 3% of what CTU did against Mitchell, that legislators should believe that Local 73 will have their back against CTU and AFSCME? And, really? How are they going to justify to their members backing someone explicitly because they voted for Pension Theft?

    And, before someone talks about the other money that SEIU (State Council, SEIU Healthcare) spent… I don’t see SEIU Illinois or SEIU Healthcare going all in to protect someone because they voted FOR a bad pension bill.


  16. - Chicago Publius - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    Rahm’s strategy in tying pension reform to property taxes could easily backfire.

    He could have easily fashioned a bill that would have let Chicago pay its pension contribution from any source whatsoever (e.g., home-rule sales taxes, Chicago’s famous soda-pop tax, etc.), perhaps even expanding the City’s authority over local taxes.

    Instead, he’s trying to use pension reform as a way to undermine voter support for public employees, their unions, and their pensions. His thinking is that when voters see, on their tax bill, how much of their higher real-estate taxes are going to pensions, the voters would be less inclined to support the teachers, the firefighters, the police officers, etc.

    It’s a strategy that is too cute by half, and by trying to stick it to the unions, he’s put himself in a bit of a corner.


  17. - No Buddies - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    United Center was available to DePaul free of charge, but lets build a private college a basketball arena with TIF funds. Of course, great idea.


  18. - Rod - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 10:52 am:

    Which is it Rich, is Rep Zalewski stupid or is he straight up lying? He is quoted in one of your clips as saying: “Right now, a lot of people are concerned about the property tax part of the bill. It all came up all of a sudden, and a lot of us were thrown off.” On January 30, Hal Dardick reported in the Tribune that, “Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently met with the four leaders of the Illinois General Assembly to discuss major shortfalls in the city’s employee pension funds that could blow a huge hole in next year’s city and Chicago Public Schools budgets.”

    The article goes on to state that Christine Radogno did not provide details related to this meeting and then the Hal Dardick writes: “In September, the Tribune reported that a plan put forward by the mayor’s chief Springfield ally, Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, could provide a hint. The measure would require a series of small city property tax increases starting in 2018 — three years into what would be Emanuel’s second term as mayor. It also would delay the need for big increases in city pension payments to 2022, three years into what would be Emanuel’s third term, if he decided to serve that long and was able to win re-election.”

    Clearly a property tax increase has been discussed as part of the pension deal for a while now even though the details have changed. So the more I listen or read what Rep Zalewski says the less and less credibility he has. Or is he just stupid?


  19. - 47th Ward - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    ===United Center was available to DePaul free of charge===

    You might be the most gullible person alive if you believe that. And according to the most recent news, the arena project is getting exactly 0 ITF dollars.

    No wonder you don’t have any friends.


  20. - AnonymousOne - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 11:04 am:

    Maybe property taxes could be lower and not so resented (I resent them) if Illinois funded it’s schools as other states do with state funds. I believe we are 48th or 49th in state funding of schools. And by the way, those taxes fund your libraries, park districts, schools. I understand that you might resent paying for those things if you don’t use them. Seems everyone is “in” for passing school referendums and such when their kids are in school, not at all when their kids are finished. Funny thing. But taxing services, scrutinizing corporate welfare might help with revenue. They’re not so willing to look at those things for some reason. There has to be immeasurable corruption and skimming going on amongst our elected for us to be so short. Where does the money go? It’s at the top, folks, not amongst the peon working class.


  21. - Anonymous - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    “===This current bill changes the COLA for retirees so why are they supporting it? ===”

    I think SEIU is not supporting the plan, but has stated that they dont oppose this plan. No real differance but they stated they are not supporting it because of the changes to those that are already retired.


  22. - Illinois taxpayer - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 11:17 am:

    So we have a tax revolt on the one hand, and unions saying “not one dime in benefit reductions” on the other. Looks like the classic irresistible force meeting an immovable object. The only outcome can be insolvency for the pension funds.


  23. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 11:19 am:

    ===classic irresistible force meeting an immovable object===

    The immovable object wasn’t so immovable a few months ago when state pension reform was passed.


  24. - dupage dan - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 11:38 am:

    The funds have to come from somewhere. It really seems to be a game of the pea under which of 3 shells. If your property isn’t taxed, your income is. I know inequities exist and it is important to make it logical and fair.

    The problem is, as I said before, the system exists now, either due to deliberate action or thru years of tweaking. If the former, good luch changing it - that constituency is powerful. If the latter, it will still be hard because folks are used to the system and have found ways to get around it or benefit from it.

    Emanuel is in a tough spot - he has telegraphed his dislike of Quinn and will find it hard to push his agenda. He can’t change the funding system - he can only ask for the tax increase.

    Bummer.


  25. - Judgment Day - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    Property taxes keep going up, because bluntly, (a) that’s where the value is, and (b) the tax revenue structure ’smooths out’ better.

    With heavier reliance on (certainly) income taxes, but also sales tax, any ’swings’ in collections are going to be relatively immediate, where changes in property taxes are going to be spread out over a period of time.

    Remember, property tax calculations use a 3 year running average (Ex.: 2013 values, payable 2014 tax bills are based upon a 3 year weighted average of 2012, 2011, & 2010 property sales data).

    If you had a bunch of pol’s who decided to move to ‘zero out’ property taxes (say, just for schools), and move to 100% alternative funding by sales/income taxes, wow, some serious blowback would occur.

    There was a study by IL DOR quite a few years ago (back in early 90’s, if memory serves me correctly) that got quickly buried once they started to see the results of funding the schools using only sales and income taxes. Very ugly - today it would be far worse. And the (projected) swing effects from economic performance were frightening.

    There’s real reasons property taxes are the preferred method of funding.


  26. - PMcP - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 12:23 pm:

    @Judgment Day

    You’re absolutely right. Part of California’s boom and bust budgeting issues was their heavy reliance on income taxes. I don’t like the idea of a property tax since no one really owns anything with it but it really is the best way to fund government.


  27. - Chicago Publius - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 12:40 pm:

    One of the problems with Rahm’s approach to pension reform and the state’s approach as well) is that it’s based on the simple-minded notion that the only way to increase revenue for pension contributions is by hiking taxes.

    The Emmanuel, Quinn, and Madigan proposals fail to take into account the fact that there are other revenue streams available — not just tax hikes. For example, Canada straightened out some of its pension mess by giving some of its public pension funds some part of the legal or equitable title to public airports. With some creative thought and financing, Chicago could find a way for its public pensions to get some revenue in a similar way — that is, by giving them some legal or equitable claim to some of the City’s hard or soft assets.

    The other reality is that the City could find new money, without raising taxes, by closing down TIF loopholes. A study came out today that argues, pretty persusively, that the money lost by Chicago because of TIFs is equal to or greater than the sums that the City should have been contributing to its public pensions. Here’s a link to the study:

    http://www.suntimes.com/csp/cms/sites/STM/dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls?STREAMOID=kUAXrdZw5LGegvUdej_jylYzXkgPZ1pSHs6SQbjaOvw7l_OBazUIuJH0NidK_8JAjMpqdV2Mso4mH6beQ6T6p6cn$IfHvVpaPD23r0DuAcZaTfjnUETyN4ze2Kxdkdy8&CONTENTTYPE=application/pdf&CONTENTDISPOSITION=Skuls-CST-040414.pdf

    The bottom line is this: Rahm can try to use higher real-estate taxes as a way to stir up voter anger against public employees and their unions, or he can seek out creative ways to solve the problem. He’s chosen the former appraoch — and right now, it doesn’t seem to be working.


  28. - Andrew Szakmary - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 12:40 pm:

    SECTION 5. PENSION AND RETIREMENT RIGHTS
    Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State, any unit of local government or school district, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which
    shall not be diminished or impaired. (Source: Illinois Constitution.)

    I am confused. Isn’t Chicago by definition a unit of local government? If it is, then any reduction in pension benefits for current employees or retirees is a contractual violation that is expressly prohibited. Yet, there is not a single legislator who appears to be troubled by the proposed pension cuts, but a great many are troubled by property tax increases that are perfectly legal and constitutional.

    Thank God we have judicial review. I suspect it is only because of this that, as Churchill once said, you can depend on Americans to do the right thing (but only after all the alternatives have been exhausted).


  29. - Will Caskey - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    Of course SEIU 73 is assuring legislators they’ll back yes votes. The next primary is two years off. No one is going to remember or care about SEIU’s activity relative to this bill by then.

    On the other hand if the tax vote goes to the city council then Emanuel comes up with 26 votes and then SEIU is on the hook for defending aldermen allied with the mayor in 2015.

    So of course they want the tax issue dealt with in Springfield too.


  30. - PMcP - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    @chicago Publius

    That’s actually a really interesting and novel idea. They already tried to privatize Midway but giving equitable stakes to entities with debt claims that produce a return may solve part of that problem since the earnings in business-type enterprises can’t be diverted to outside funding sources otherwise… That’s a really interesting idea…


  31. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 12:52 pm:

    ===The other reality is that the City could find new money, without raising taxes, by closing down TIF loopholes===

    That’s true, but then what do you do about the economic development hole you’ve created? Somebody’s gotta pay the taxes, man.


  32. - A guy... - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 1:00 pm:

    TIF is just about the only economic tool left in the toolbox for economic development. There just isn’t any other public money for development laying around.
    The abuse of TIFs is a problem. There are places that will develop all on their own with private capital and without public partnership. They don’t need TIFs. Other places the TIF isn’t close to enough to encourage private risk. They need to be careful and strategic where these zones are located- either to save an area that’s slipping or encourage a positive wave that’s developing on it’s own and can use a pump of adrenaline.


  33. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 1:10 pm:

    @GA:

    Republicans and down staters should care because the bulk of the state’s commerce is within Chicago’s city limits.

    Chicago is the economic engine not just for Illinois, but the Midwest, and businesses pay a disproportionate property tax rate in Chicago already.

    You are slowly strangling the Goose.


  34. - AnonymousOne - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 1:14 pm:

    For all that was paid for with pension money, how would/should those things have been paid for? Tax revenue.


  35. - Upon Further Review - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 1:50 pm:

    @Rich Miller:

    With respect, I am beginning to question the utility of the politicians doing economic development planning for the rest of us peons. I do not think that their track record for making sound investments is that great except for rewarding themselves and their cronies in the construction industry.

    Millennium Park is a magnificent tourist attraction, but nobody can argue that if it were a private development rather than a public one that the price tag would not have been much less.

    Please accept my apologies for my cynicism. I sat through a public meeting where minority contractors were arguing about who deserved to get a bigger slice of the economic pie for constructing the new $215 million dollar Malcolm X College. The old college opened in 1971 (built for $27 million), but nobody questions why it is suddenly obsolete.


  36. - Judgment Day - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    “I don’t like the idea of a property tax since no one really owns anything with it but it really is the best way to fund government.”
    —–

    Actually, IMO, it’s a really bad way to fund government (at least in IL). Couple of reasons.

    First, relying on property taxes enshrines the Status Quo - The way things have always been done. If you don’t believe it, take a serious look at when the STRUCTURAL design of IL property taxes as exists today was first created - it’s actually the Revenue Act of 1919, as Amended (no kidding). Now, it’s been tweaked (& tweaked & tweaked & tweaked, etc.), and operational changes made to the statutes, but the basic STRUCTURAL design of the entire process goes back to 1919.

    Now, you may not think it’s a big deal, but when you are doing the work today, imagine if you had to only use business practices that were vetted back in 1919 (unless tweaked….).

    What happens if there are no local newspapers to handle legal publications? (many newspaper publications are required by law). What happens if USPS goes out of business? (got to mail all those various notifications out).

    Yes, property taxes raises a lot of revenue. But it’s a ridiculously arcane process. Too much of the time it operates like one of these Domino toppling contests (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTL0lvwyVpo).

    And the process is completely unexplainable to the average taxpayer. And try explaining to taxpayers why the value of their homes have decreased, and their property taxes care still increasing. And with the exception of some Chicagoland neighborhoods, but virtually anywhere else in Illinois, it’s at best a stagnant marketplace.

    IMO, Rahm’s property tax increase for the benefit of funding retirement benefits for public sector employees is not going to sell well with the rest of the citizens.

    Something to think about - Last time I checked (couple of months ago), the retirement funding issues for the City of Chicago were not unique. These same issues exist for both Cook County government and Cook County Forest Preserve. I actually believe the funding percentages for all of the different Cook County retirement systems were all in the low/mid 40% range. Something to think about (tax bases are larger, so there’s some offset). This just might be the start…..


  37. - Harry - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 2:03 pm:

    Chicago Publius–that doesn’t create value, it just shifts it around. If assets like that are running a surplus it is already going somewhere, moving it to pensions just leaves a hole behind.

    Yellow Dog Democrat–in your dreams, maybe. The Chicago metro area is the things you say, not the City, itself. The right question is how would a weaker Chicago affect the region as a whole, and that has been argued many times, always shedding more heat than light.


  38. - Upon Further Review - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 2:04 pm:

    @Judgment Day:

    You hit the target right in the bull’s eye! Once

    I was reading some old newspapers on microfilm and the complaints about property assessments and taxes from the Roaring Twenties would be nearly identical to the present day. The only significant change was that a multi-member Board of Assessors for Cook County has been replaced with a single Assessor.


  39. - Chicago Publius - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    Harry at Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 2:03 pm:

    “Chicago Publius–that doesn’t create value, it just shifts it around. If assets like that are running a surplus it is already going somewhere, moving it to pensions just leaves a hole behind.”

    Your response doesn’t take into account how public finance really works. The revenue stream associated with such assets as Midway, O’Hare, Millenium Park, the proposed Chicago Casino, the proposed Illiana, the proposed privatization of the lotttery, etc. goes to private investors. If local pension funds were to receive all or a portion of the legal or equitable title to those assets, then some of the revenue stream would belong to them, and they could manage that asset as owners or “shareholders.” As I said, take a look at how they saved public pensions in Canada by linking them to public airports.

    The general advantage to this approach is that it opens up the door to conversations that aren’t always about tax increases, and would let public pensions share in the wealth that now flows to private investors.


  40. - AnonymousOne - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    I asked earlier where the money has gone since everyone feels they’re paying so much. Read:

    http://pando.com/2014/04/04/revealed-rahm-emanuel-cuts-public-pensions-diverts-money-to-benefit-campaign-donors/


  41. - PMcP - Friday, Apr 4, 14 @ 4:07 pm:

    @ Judgment Day

    I agree that it’s a anachronistic way of funding government when, with current technology, we’re better able to apply costs to those who use the services. However, as opposed to income taxes, property taxes are much more consistent source of revenue year-over-year and doesn’t have to tendency to have vast fluctuations like you have with income taxes. Again, I agree there is a better way, but for a budgeting/funding mechanism, property taxes are really the best way to go.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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        * Evernote Taps Former eBay Finance Exec Shotts as CFO
        * Store Bay Leaves in the Freezer, Not the Spice Drawer
        * Ubergizmo’s Best of MWC 2015 Awards
        * Cinder Countertop Grill Has The Cooking Smarts You Might Be Lacking
        * Worry About Keeping Your Next Job, Not Your Current One
        * LG G4 Fingerprint Sensor Rumored
        * L.A. tech conference billboard urges Silicon Valley to take a break

        * Visitation, services for Minoso on Friday, Saturday
        * First impressions from the White Sox's first spring training game
        * Konerko humbled by Lifetime Achievement Award
        * Anderson focused on becoming top-notch shortstop
        * Putnam preparing for season with new perspective
        * Quintana comfortable, efficient in White Sox rotation
        * Alexei's 3 RBIs spark White Sox in spring opener

        ...............


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        * As he seeks Wilson's runoff endorsement, Mayor .....
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        * Panel calls for pardon of famous paleontologist Peter Larson
        * Lawmakers propose increasing earned income tax credit
        * Remains of 2 babies found in ceiling at Indiana funeral home
        * Report: Illinois budget cuts would harm children in poverty
        * Couple offers $92M to Northwestern University medical school
        * $92M donation to go to Northwestern University med school
        * Senate panel passes ban on plastic beads polluting lakes
        * Park Ridge mayor dies at 57 after 'sudden illness'
        * At least 15 vehicles involved in wrecks on bridge
        * Lincoln carriage heading from South Bend to Washington, DC

        * Lawmakers propose increasing state's earned income tax credit
        * Local men plead guilty to stealing millions from Illinois EPA
        * Report: State budget cuts would harm children in poverty
        * Court monitor says IDOT should clean house on hiring rules
        * Senate President Cullerton: We're not stalling
        * Judge grants delay of medical marijuana permit in Kankakee
        * State's medical marijuana patients now number 1,600
        * Illinois hires firm to evaluate shuttered Eagle Creek Resort
        * Committee approves plan to plug some budget holes
        * State superintendent warns of 'perfect storm' for school districts

        * Walgreens and CVS declare war on property taxes
        * Americans spent $58 billion to pamper, protect pets in 2014
        * A solar-powered lamp for everyone
        * How AbbVie beat out behemoth J&J to buy Pharmacyclics
        * An Open Table for groups debuts


          * 2 wounded in separate shootings on Northwest and South Sides
          * April 6 trial set for McHenry County man accused of shooting sheriff's deputies
          * Prairie-style home, sold for $10, is moved to new lot in Evanston
          * Lawmaker calls for expansion of state role on O'Hare noise
          * Garcia says he'll take down Chicago red light cameras
          * Mayor: 'Good Wife' wrong about Evanston politics
          * 2 questioned in attempted home invasion that left man dead
          * Northwestern's $92 million gift will go toward biomedical research
          * Skilling: More record cold, then maybe 55 by next week
          * Woman accused of Facebook chatting before crash that killed 3 kids


          * Art Beat: Paintings, A Doc & Psychedelic Rock
          * Let's Talk Kids - "A Shot in the Arm"
          * Lincoln Carriage Headed To DC
          * Bedrock 66 Live! Features Celtic And Psychedelic Rock
          * "Don't Get Used To This" Breezy Budget Hearing
          * Lawmaker Suggests Eliminating Tuition Waivers For University Employees' Children
          * Profitable Exelon Seeks Legislation To Save Unprofitable Nuclear Plants
          * Sexting Laws Could Be Added to School Handbooks
          * McDonalds to phase out chicken raised with certain antibiotics
          * Illinois Hires Firm To Evaluate Shuttered Eagle Creek Resort


          * Lawmakers propose increasing state's earned income tax credit
          * Local men plead guilty to stealing millions from Illinois EPA
          * Bernard Schoenburg: Butler will listen to many before taking tough votes
          * Rep. Mark Batinick: Illinois can find savings in workers' comp reforms
          * George Will: Stopping the IRS
          * Eugene Robinson: Boehner's sorry spectacle
          * Court monitor says IDOT should clean house on hiring rules
          * Senate President Cullerton: We're not stalling
          * Judge grants delay of medical marijuana permit in Kankakee
          * State's medical marijuana patients now number 1,600


          * SouthPark hosts free family stock car event
          * Local author holds book signing at Rhythm City
          * Cub Scout Pack hosts medieval fair
          * Kids Count report finds child poverty is persistent post recession
          * TOCO collects items for the homeless
          * Trees and seeds for sale from conservation district
          * Firefighters honor Hoffman on anniversary of his death
          * Thursday March 5 government meetings
          * Investigation clears police in fatal Arcola shooting
          * Final legislative forum set for Saturday


          * UnitedHealthcare debuts new app features so you can stay mobile
          * Quarterbacks, coaches, coordinators dominate spring stories
          * US stocks edge higher; Pharmacyclics jumps on AbbVie bid
          * Rolling Meadows reverses again on fire station decision
          * Error means bigger tax bill for some in Kane County

          * Bost support of comp time bill has comment...
          * Illinois Reps urge nuclear solution
          * Illinois Reps urge nuclear solution
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          * Adam Kinzinger to Iraqis: Iran's Military ...
          * Rep. Rodney Davis and Rep. Mike Bost: Stro...
          * Kinzinger disagrees with Obama's criticism...
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          * The Gentle Warrior Award Honorees acknowle...
          * Iowa and Illinois lawmakers issue statemen...

          * Democrats Press Mitch McConnell To Give AG......
          * Will a Royal Edict on Ammo Mock the Consti......
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          * U.S. Democrats back off Iran legislation w......
          * Netanyahu's speech had no real news — just......
          * RACISM? Sen. Mark Kirk's endorsement of Ra......
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          * Former Illinois Gov. Quinn earning $11,396 per month taxpayer-funded pension
          * Illinois House Committee votes to put state's vaccination policy in hands of bureaucrats
          * Repairs On The Way For Clarendon Park Fieldhouse, More To Come
          * After Concealed Carry: ‘Constitutional Carry’ With No Permits Needed
          * WLS dumps more conservative talk show hosts - including Rush Limbaugh
          * Morning Minute: U.S. pending home sales hit 18-month high
          * Is SEIU’s President Tom Balanoff going to be bullied by Christine Boardman?
          * Morning Minute: Federal Reserve finds improving economic growth in early 2015
          * Rahm’s new TV ad. “You’re going to respect me!”
          * Chicago Rating Downgrade Triggers Swaps Terms, Outlook Remains Negative


          * IEMA Urges People to Prepare for Severe Weather - Tornadoes, floods and severe storms can happen any time of year
          * IDHS helps more than 5,000 individuals with disabilities find jobs - Program offers necessary tools to earn a living wage and become more independent
          * 24th Anniversary Desert Storm Remembrance Ceremony
          * Illinois Department of Human Rights Announces 2015 Spring Training Schedule
          * Snow and Freezing Rain to Impact Travel in Illinois - IDOT Crews Prepared to Battle Winter Weather this Weekend




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