New water-sewer tax coming to Chicago residents, businesses

CHICAGO  — Chicago aldermen have approved a new water and sewer tax that has the support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

City Council members voted 40-10 on Wednesday to approve the nearly 30 percent tax. Proceeds will go to the city's financially troubled municipal workers pension fund. The city owes the fund $18.6 billion.

The tax is to be phased in over four years. It will cost the average homeowner in Chicago about $53 more next year, going up to about $226 more in 2020. The city is poised to earn about $240 million from the tax in 2020.

After the vote Emanuel commended aldermen for having "collective courage" to approve the tax. Emanuel said "nobody likes to raise taxes" but the aldermen "helped save the city."