by Mish

After slaughtering Chicago’s sheep with the largest tax hike in history, Emanuel commented “It’s Not a Piece of Art“.

Amen to that. Slaughters generally aren’t a piece of art.

Aldermatic Sheep Approve Emanuel’s Tax Hike

Crain’s Chicago Business reports Emanuel Gets His Huge Property Tax Hike.

The City Council has approved Mayor Emanuel’s bad-news city budget, including plans for a record $543 million city property tax hike over the next four years.
The action came on a voice vote after a relatively tepid two-hour debate. But aldermen did take a roll-call vote on the related appropriation of funds for 2016, and it was approved 36-14.
“No, it’s not a piece of art,” Emanuel told the council. “But are we better off? Yes.”

Question of the Day

Who is better off? The sheep dogs, those in bed with the mayor, the public unions, or the slaughtered sheep?

Expect More Torture


Those who survive the slaughter can expect still more torture.

Moody’s says the budget is helpful, but the budget “assumes certain actions from the State of Illinois and Illinois Supreme Court that directly impact the city’s statutory pension funding requirements. Should these decisions not match the city’s assumptions, new operating pressures could materialize in the immediate- and longer-term.”

The S&P; says “Despite Chicago’s efforts to address its longer-term structural issues (starting with the approval of the 2016 budget), we still consider the city’s financial problems substantial, particularly because we anticipate that the city’s required pension contributions will continue to increase and place pressure on the city’s budget—one of the primary drivers of our rating. In our view, the extent of the city’s structural imbalance, when factoring in required pension contributions, will take multiple years to rectify.”

Crain’s Chicago business writer Greg Hinz says “Hold the champagne, mayor!

Hold the Champagne?!

Is it city taxpayers, the unions, or the alderman and their pensions who are supposed to hold the champagne?

In 2012 the Chicago Tribune listed Pensions of 21 Retired Aldermen while noting: “In 1991, Chicago aldermen became eligible for a pension based on up to 80 percent of their salary, with maximum benefits awarded after 20 years of service. It’s a more generous plan than other city employees receive, even though membership in City Council is a part-time job. The costs are just now beginning to kick in as salaries increase and long-serving aldermen retire.

Given the tax hike did nothing more than pad pockets of public unions and the alderman’s own pockets, it appears to me champagne with caviar is the call of the day … at least for the dogs.

It’s like taking a vote between anteaters and ants as to what’s for dinner, but only counting the votes of the anteaters.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Chicago Pension Situation Improving Says Mayor: Careful Analysis Uncovers Lies

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel brags about balancing the Chicago budget and fixing the city’s pension plans. Reuters writer Dave McKinney took the lies hook line and sinker.

Illinois Eyes 30 Cent Gas Tax Hike, Chicago Eyes Property Tax Hike

The Illinois legislature is in recess right now. Other than disbanding the body, that's the best place for them. When they return, they are going after your pocketbook in the form a gas tax hike. Not to be outdone, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pondering property tax hikes.

“B” Word Hits Chicago: Illinois Governor Proposes Bankruptcy for Chicago Public School System

At long last, Illinois has a sensible proposal to help Chicago schools: Bankruptcy.

Chicago Pension Liabilities Jump 168%, Understated by $11.5 Billion

New accounting rules show Chicago has understated its pension liabilities by $11.5 billion.

Chicago Alderman Proposes “Fun Tax” on Rush Street Bars, Popular Pizza Restaurants

In an exclusive interview regarding articles that I have written on the plight of Chicago finances, a Chicago alderman told me that he knows how to fix what ails the city.

Chicago Headed for Insolvency, Get the Hell Out Now

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Teachers Union reached agreement on a deal sure to send Chicago over the cliff.

Chicago's Death Spiral: There's No Can Left to Kick

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has presented her plan of tax hikes and can kicking. It can't possibly work.

Chicago Population Shrinks Most of Any City in US

Illinoisans continue their exodus, with Chicago having the dubious distinction of the highest population loss in the nation.

Chicago Population Shrinks Most of Any City in US

Illinoisans continue their exodus, with Chicago having the dubious distinction of the highest population loss in the nation.