A Boatload of Bad Ideas
- With the mayor and City Council preparing to begin the annual budget process next month, city Inspector General Joe Ferguson has suggested a host of revenue-generating and cost-saving ideas, including a city income tax and toll booths on Lake Shore Drive.
But Mayor Rahm Emanuel said higher taxes and charging tolls on Lake Shore Drive are non-starters, although some of Ferguson’s dozens of other ideas are worth a closer look.
- In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Emanuel – who must present his budget plan next month – said several of Ferguson’s ideas are “promising” and will be given serious consideration. But the mayor said “raising property taxes, income taxes or the sales taxes is off the table. And asking drivers on Lake Shore Drive to pay a toll is also a non-starter.”
- Ferguson’s report also suggests imposing a $5 London-style congestion fee on for driving in the downtown area during rush hours. The fee would be collected in an area bounded roughly from North Avenue south to the Stevenson Expressway, and from Halsted Street east to Lake Michigan, although it extends as far west as Ashland Avenue between Lake Street and the Eisenhower Expressway.
In addition, Ferguson also suggests creating a 1 percent Chicago city income tax, much as New York City imposes, for new revenues of $500 million per year. In suggesting the tax, Ferguson’s report points out that the State of Illinois increased its income tax to 5 percent last year, but froze the amount distributed to municipal governments, thus effectively reducing the percentage of the tax that cities receive.
But such a tax might also prompt people to move away. The report conceded that it might lead city residents to move to the suburbs to avoid the tax.
Ferguson also suggested an income tax for non-Chicago residents who work in the city, which he said is done in Philadelphia, Cleveland and Detroit.
Oak Lawn resident Jack Cummings said “I don’t think that’s right. … We need to work somewhere. We’re coming here to work. I don’t think you should tax us. We’re already paying to come down here. We’re paying to eat. We’re paying to do our jobs. I don’t think that’s right.”
Taxing suburbanites is the goal of several options presented by Inspector General Joe Ferguson.
“Folks from the suburbs come in and work in the city, take their money back home, come back into the city so they can enjoy high cultural events or otherwise,” Ferguson said. “So who bears the burden for the cost of the roads and the lights and the police protection and all that sort of stuff?”
Democrats - always with the "higher taxes will solve everything" mantra.
Labels: silly people