Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to raise Chicago property taxes and cut city retirement benefits, to bail Chicago out of its pension debt crisis.
Not all of the city’s labor unions support a cut in their members’ retirement benefits.
The owner of a typical $250,000 home would pay another $250 a year in taxes within five years; and city employees would be required to pay 12 percent of their paychecks, instead of 8 ½ percent, to fund their retirement plans.
“The Mayor has very few options left in terms of saving these pension funds,” says Lawrence Msall of the Civic Federation.
The city is in the midst of critical times in which most pension funds are in danger of collapsing.
“It is a real compromise. It shares the pain between the taxpayers and between the pensioneers who are going to get a little less accrued benefit. And the employees are going to have to pay a little more,” Msall tells WGN. “But we’re still going to be able to operate our government under a reasonable tax structure.”
The mayor’s plan — when it’s written down — will need the approval of Illinois lawmakers.