City council approves phone tax increase

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Chicago Aldermen voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a fee increase on all phone lines.

Anyone with a mobile or land line phone linked to a Chicago address can expect bills to jump by $16.80 per line per year, or $67.20 a year for a family with four phone lines.

The increase will boost 911 surcharges on wireless phones and landlines by $1.40 -- to $3.90 a line -- starting Sept. 1. It also increases the tax on prepaid wireless phones by 2 percentage points, to 9 percent, on Oct. 1.

Mayor Emanuel said the increased revenue was needed to help support the pensions of city workers.

“We avoided a property tax increase, we secured the pension of working men and woman and we introduced an increase in the minimum wage.  All efforts to help people achieve the middle class,” he said.

As for the minimum wage, some aldermen say a raise now should only be the first step.

“I think that people in the city of Chicago need a raise to be able to make ends meet,” said Ald. Ricerdo Munoz. “But it’s not enough. I’m still fighting for $15 dollars an hour and making sure that it grows with the cost of living expenses.”

That minimum wage ordinance was sent back to committee for further tweeting before returning to the full city council for a vote.

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  • Chris

    Another reason why I rent and keep my Florida phone number. Chicago will tax and regulate anything it can get its hands on and the city with become a vacant ghost town like Detroit. Don’t you just love that all of this is to pay for someone else’s lavish retirement for teaching kids how to draw with crayons while the rest of us struggle just to get by? It’s completely ridiculous.

    • brownrevolutionary

      Enough with the Detroit comparrisons. Detroit didn’t tax, it only spent and had an industry based economy. Chicago grew in tourism & residency numbers last year. Next year, the city will have 25 construction cranes in the loop alone. The most out of any American city. Lavish? Don’t be ridiculous. The city and state have a legal binding obligation to pay those pensions which are going towads people who were public workers. Pensions that have already been cut by the State from what they originally were when those persons agreed to work. Maybe you needed more art teachers in your life, your failures and struggles are not to be taken out on others.

      • Chris

        If by failure you mean earning my Master’s Degree at a private institution and working my way up the corporate ladder, then I can’t imagine how successful you must be. My point is that taxes will eventually drive people out of the city if they are not kept in check. I am responsible for investing my own money into a 401k that I have control over, why can’t public workers do the same thing? I don’t expect anyone to pay for my retirement so why should they?

    • Levora

      I’m sorry Chris that you don’t know that I pay for part of my pension. Mayor Daley is getting a pension. The Aldermen will get a pension. Police, firefighters, and anyone who works for the city will. Quit blaming teachers. Let me know when you’d like to volunteer in one of my mat classes.

  • Mary

    I foresee the possibility of a mass exodus not only are the school systems failing, but the policing of Chicago is failing. It’s now known worldwide since having the most homicides. It costs way too much to live there . The taxes are ridiculously high and climbing, and the politicians are mostly corrupt thieves!!! They tax to death new n old American businesses a to a point where the business growth is declining and corporate is fleeing. Instead of being user-friendly , think the Illinois government decision makers are that to collect an exorbitant salary they did NOT work for!! Who the heck wants to live in Chicago?

    • John

      Don’t like Chicago, don’t live here. Don’t live here, don’t stick your noise where it doesn’t belong. Pretty simple ya bag of hot air.

  • sanda

    I don’t anyone but you should pay into your own pension. I think of a company wants to contribute that’s great. However, this idea that I, not a public worker should have to pay into your pension when I can’t even afford my own is insane.

    • Chris

      Exactly, Sanda! People need to be responsible for their own lives. We suffer to pay for these people’s retirement when we can barely invest in our own – and we don’t get any help from anyone!

  • Mary

    The ignorance of some people is shameful. I too have earned a masters from a private institute and have climbed the “school” ladder and find after 10 years of hard work, many unpaid hours before and after school, and thousands of my own dollars invested back into my classroom…. I am lavishly living on less than 55K a year. Two degrees and 10 years? Is that a lavish salary? And as far as paying my pension, I pay into my pension, have an additional savings plan, and will receive NO social security benefits after I retire. Don’t judge something you don’t understand. And as for teaching kids to color all day, I’m guessing you spend no time in schools. If you did, you would be joining our fight for better classroom conditions (the academic changes are unbelievable) and better salaries. Because of the state of the economy I have actually LOST some of my salary due to expenses that are higher than my 1,5% lavish income increase last year. On another note, I would venture to guess somewhere along the lines a teacher helped you do something more than color with crayons. Otherwise that masters degree you tout would never have happened.

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