City Council to vote on budget

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CHICAGO - The Chicago City Council is expected to approve Mayor Rahm Emanuel's new budget today, which includes a record-breaking tax hike.  Today's Council meeting is now under way.

The new budget will include $755 million in new taxes, fines and fees.

The bulk of that will be a $543 million property tax increase that will fund police and fire pensions.

This is the largest property tax increase in Chicago history.  Homeowners won't be hit all at once.  It will be phased in over four years.  The biggest payment will be due in August of next year.  That's when the city will collect more than half of that money.  Over the next four years that means someone who owns a house worth $300,000 will pay about $1,800 a year.

A proposed new garbage collection fee is apparently too controversial for now.  The Aldermen put off changes until 2019.

Today's vote is not expected to be close.  It should pass easily.  But some aldermen say they are concerned that the tax hike won't be enough.  That's because the city is relying on Springfield to help.  Governor Rauner and state democrats are still locked in a stalemate, so there's a good chance that City Hall could be asking for even more cash in the coming years.


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