Mayor Emanuel Ally: Property tax hike likely

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Chicago Alderman Carrie Austin mentions a possible property tax hike at City Hall Monday.

A Chicago property tax hike could be on the way.

That wasn’t announced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

It was said by an alderman who is trying to help him get reelected.

Several of Emanuel’s allies held a press conference Monday to question how challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia would pay for the promises he’s making on the campaign trail.

That’s when 34th Ward Alderman Carrie Austin, the City Council budget chairman, said property tax increases may be needed to cover Emanuel’s spending plans.

“I believe we can truly say that it will happen, but it’s all in the ‘how much,'” said Austin. “Nothing is off the table, and I think we should be honest witht the people to let them know that everything is being considered.”

Emanuel raised property taxes for Chicago Public Schools, by the maximum amount, every one of the four years of his first term.

He also reduced pension benefits and some spending.

He also raised fees, fines, and some other taxes.

Emanuel campaign spokesman Steve Mayberry released a statement saying, “A property tax increase for police and fire pensions is coming at us. Our best chance to avert that is with a mayor who is willing to be stratight with the public and make the reforms and chances necessary to lead the city through this mess.”

Garcia says he will release his fiancial plan sometime this week.

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