* Mayor Rahm Emanuel has some pretty big pension problems on his hands, the result of years of not paying into the funds. So, he’s proposing a new and extended “ramp” to get the payments up to snuff over time. Gov. Pat Quinn vigorously opposed a shorter new ramp last spring, so Emanuel is trying again…
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. […]
Emanuel needs to press for relief because of the timing of a state law approved while Richard M. Daley was mayor. It would require the city to put in nearly $600 million more in contributions to police and fire pensions starting in 2015. That additional amount is about one-fifth of the city’s day-to-day operating budget. […]
The state law that kicks in requires higher payments into the police and fire pension plans based on what actuaries say the city needs to pay to get up to 90 percent funding by 2040.
And his warning…
Combine City Hall’s pension costs with the huge amount of money needed to fund Chicago Public Schools pensions and the resulting property tax hikes means “there will be a mass exodus” from Chicago, Emanuel said.
“It will be the largest caravan since America settled the West,” the mayor said. Suburban property taxes historically are much higher than those in Chicago, however.
So are Downstate property taxes. Chicago has relatively low residential property taxes because commercial property is taxed at a higher rate.