What additional revenue sources, if any, would you propose?


I don’t support raising taxes until the City learns to live within its means. There is too much inefficiency in the City’s processes to ask more of taxpayers.

The city is in serious financial trouble and can’t afford the level of service it
currently provides. I have lived in the 18th ward for many years, and in speaking with
my fellow residents, the consensus is nobody is willing to suffer from a further
reduction of the services that many of these residents depend on. However, as a lawyer,
educator, and homeowner, I also understand the value of fiscal responsibility and a
balanced budget, and realize the dire straits the city’s budget deficit places its residents.
Therefore I think it’s important to look for new sources of city revenue while also
increasing fees, penalties and (as a last resort) taxes to help fund promised services and
existing obligations.
However, the high level of municipal spending that contributes to the deficit
goes beyond just the services that my neighbors and I rely on. I would look to shrink the
city government administrative budget by consolidating several city council committees,
reducing redundant upper-level administration, and refocusing the city’s commitment to
environmental technology, which will ultimately save the city money in energy, paper
and other goods. All of these administrative cuts should be done without reducing any
core city services. All in all, we need to find new revenue sources and cut inefficiencies
to help our city get back to a state of fiscal solvency

No response provided

Even though I don’t personally agree with gambling for its social effects, I do realize that
the city is loosing potential revenue to Indiana and suburbs. I also feel that casino
gambling will attract and increase tourism and visitor spending.

I support a financial transaction tax
and maybe the establishment of a casino in Chicago. The proceeds would be dedicated to shore
up the ailing municipal pension systems. When given a choice most people would support a
casino over a property tax increase.

I support a land-based casino in the City of Chicago.
I would support a graduated income tax as long as it had a fair tier structure.
I am in favor of a sales tax on large-scale finance transactions, the so-called LaSalle Street Tax.
I would consider additional revenue generating measures for the City of Chicago and I acknowledge that this a critical issue in the coming year, but I would have to evaluate all revenue enhancements on a case by case basis and, so far, no comprehensive revenue solution or solutions have been presented to me or the Chicago City Council.

A commuter tax on individuals that live outside of the City but work here and rely on its services.
Also, a LaSalle Street tax on futures contracts executed through the facilities of the Chicago
Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

Balancing the city's budget
requires a mix of expenditure reductions and new revenue that does not unduly dip into
the pockets of, or diminish services to, the average Chicagoan. Since municipal wages,
pensions and healthcare costs account for 80 percent of the city expenditures; we must
aggressively identify and cut waste, fraud and unnecessary layers/entities in the
bureaucracy. We need to ensure the city’s wage structures are comparable to the market
rate. Instead of burdening residents with ever-mounting fees and fines, we should be
focusing on delinquent landlords and irresponsible financial businesses. Their negligence
requires costly public intervention (e.g., police, maintenance, administrative oversight) and
negatively impacts the environment for local economic development.
We cannot assure Chicago is a world-class city by diverting finite public-private funds into
projects that benefit downtown tourism, rather than revitalizing the vibrant neighborhoods
for which the city is equally known. Vacant land, abandoned industrial sites, historic
venues and cultural attractions exist in the very areas of the city that need development
(and TIF monies) most. They often generate less tax revenue but require more public
resources. The city has a woeful record for marketing these areas to companies that pay a
living wage. Doing so could expand the city’s tax venues from the companies occupying
unutilized property, their local employees and other businesses that could prosper as a
With an estimated 55 million tourists coming to Chicago, a $2 surcharge on hotel stay and
car rental can generate millions. In addition, I am in favor of looking at some form of a
LaSalle Street Financial Transaction Tax.
Chicago cannot afford to limit its financial perspective to squeezing more blood from the
local turnip. Instead of paying out millions to sabotage construction of the South
Suburban Airport, the city should be wholeheartedly supporting this enormous
opportunity. The FAA says that 10 airports the size of O’Hare are needed by 2020
nationally. If Chicago is to maintain its reputation as the transportation hub of the nation,
then we must be able to capture the increase in air travel instead of diverting it to other
hubs such as St. Louis, Denver, and Dallas-Ft. Worth. We have lost hundreds of jobs to
Indianapolis and Cincinnati, because there wasn’t room at O’Hare and Midway for
companies to expand. Virgin Airlines was thwarted for 10 years from operating at O’Hare, because of the stranglehold United and American Airlines have on the airport as a
duopoly. The inaugural phase of the SSA will create 15,000 direct and indirect jobs at
every skill level. Many of these jobs will have a direct economic impact on South Side
communities. When people work, they spend money, which generates more revenue for
the city.

I would continue to fight sources
of revenue that disproportionately burden working families (e.g., red light fines, parking
fees/fines, redundant Park District funding) or dependence on privatization. Many
corporations do not pay their fair share of taxes – some because they are woefully
delinquent, others due to undeserved incentives. We must also look to long-term
solutions that can make a real impact. Instead of spending millions of dollars to
undermine the South Suburban Airport, the city should be supporting this huge economic
engine for generating revenue from both corporate and individual taxpayers

It is clear to me that Chicago needs additional revenue. I would look to broadening the tax base,
for example by eliminating tax exemptions and credits, rather than by raising rates. In particular, I
believe that many of the longtime homeowners in the 1st Ward need protection from rising
property taxes.

The citizens of Chicago are facing hard economic times, and as a public servant, it is my job to
help alleviate that burden whenever possible, not add to it. In recent years, the city’s budget
has been balanced on the backs of workers with an unprecedented number of furlough days,
staff cutbacks and an unwillingness to replace the large number of city workers that are retiring
while workloads are increasing. I strongly believe that there are other ways to generate new
revenue, and that we must be more exhaustive in our efforts to develop those new revenue
streams, including in burgeoning industries as alternative energies and advanced
manufacturing. However, I do recognize that the demand for city services continues to grow.
As Alderman, I will continue to ensure that city services are being provided in the most fiscally
efficient manner possible.

Adding debt to the backs of our children and grandchildren to cover for the fact that we cannot live within our means is never justified. We need to return to fiscal responsibility and reign in spending so we can balance the budget. Taxpayers are footing enough of the bill for government at every level, and residents and businesses in Chicago feel the pain of taxes and fees more than most. We absolutely cannot increase taxes on already overburdened taxpayers. The solution is in prioritizing our spending. It won’t be easy, because until we’ve paid down our debts, we are going to have to be that much more prudent with our spending. But there is no other path forward, as we cannot continue to kick the can down the road and hope future generations can solve the problems we are unwilling to face.

Stephen Niketopoulos IVI-IPO 2015 Chicago City Council

Mainly I would encourage restructuring the way government is funding various agencies and projects, since I think main problems with Chicago revenue have to do with mismanagement. I would like to see medical marijuana become a taxable base for additional revenue, and TIF reform. Also Casino gambling could bring in major revenue assuming it was controlled by the city and state.

No response provided

I am not in favor of increasing fees or taxes.

Increase in certain taxes, TIF reform, sending TIF surplus back to those agencies that the
money was taken from. I also support legislation that deals with the streamline sales tax
and changes to the way and from whom the state collects income taxes. I believe we
should use a progressive tax system.

I believe that the Mayor and City Council owe it to Chicagoans to come up with additional revenue streams that will not put a larger financial burden on Chicagoans, especially on those that can least afford it. Increased taxes are possible solutions after all additional revenue streams have been considered. Ideas for additional revenue streams that I support are reforming the TIF system, creating a Chicago owned casino, speeding
up the progress of the Peotone airport, implementing a carefully structured commuter tax, implanting a carefully structured financial transaction tax, and recouping taxpayer money that was lost during CPS’ interest rate swap arrangements. We can also look at the possibility of bringing in revenue from suburbanites that park their vehicles on Chicago streets overnight, similar to the tickets that Chicagoans get when we park our
vehicles in any of the suburbs overnight.

No response provided

It’s no secret that we need to make some changes in our city’s finances if we’re going to
be able to fully fund city services and meet our commitments to our public workers and
their pensions. We should start with a fair approach to revenue. Last spring, our legislators
in Springfield had the opportunity to pass a progressive, fair income tax that would have
benefited the city budget enormously and would have lightened the burden on everyday
Chicagoans. I hope to see that proposal move forward in the next General Assembly.
In Chicago we need to implement progressive revenue options like a LaSalle Street Tax,
which would place a small tax on financial transactions, or a commuter tax, which would
ask those who live in the suburbs but work in the city to contribute a small amount to help
pay for the services they benefit from every day. As we continue to look to find revenue
options to meet our pension and other long term debt obligations we must be careful to
not over burden the working men and women of Chicago with crippling tax increases.

Susan Sadlowski Garza IVI-IPO 2015 Chicago City Council

candidate's responce

No response provided

I think more emphasis should be placed on naming rights of city owned property.
We must give our City treasurer more freedom to explore other banking options which might yield
higher interest and tax increment finances should be used to invest in cornering the market of an
emerging market, such as digital manufacturing

No response provided

Carlos Ramirez-Rosa IVI-IPO 2015 Chicago City Council

I believe it is key to reform our TIF system to ensure more of our property tax dollars are turned
over to our city’s taxing bodies. I also support: (1) a “fair tax” in Illinois – to lift the tax burden off of
our working families while generating sorely needed revenue, (2) a “LaSalle Street Tax,” to close
a corporate tax loophole and tax major financial transactions, and (3) a “commuter tax” to ensure
all those that benefit from our infrastructure and services contribute to our city’s bottom line.

Michael E. LaFargue IVI-IPO 2015 Chicago City Council

1. Taxing Financial Institution Trades
PRO’s: It is not being done now. I
CON’s: Depending on the implementation it could chase some institutions out of
2. Out of City Commuter Tax Tax those who live in the suburbs or out of state who
work in Chicago
PRO’s: Increased Revenue.
CON’s: Loss good people force. Retaliation Tax
3. Tax Incremental Financing Modification
Originally designed for blighted areas. Between 2004 and 2008 $1.56 billion
spent of 2.56 spent wer spent in the Loop. Near North, Near South Side, and
Near West Side. $4.8 million was invested in Pullman, Roseland, Riverdale
West Pullman were blight is prevalent.
4. Increasing the city’s portion of the Property Tax would be a very last resorce. (In
2014 Property Taxes Brought in 10% of the General fund Revenue vs Cutting
City Services or Pensions

One proposal for additional revenue would be the non - privatization of parking contracts, thus
recirculating funds within the city revenue system.

No response provided

I support a progressive income tax at the state level and better sharing of those revenues with the City of Chicago.

No response provided

To work with the Legislative bodies
to implement a progressive tax, reduce the number of aldermen in the City of Chicago, and
enforce higher taxes on luxury items such as boats and cars to bring in additional revenue to the

I am very interested in Aldermen Pawar and Burns’ ideas about investing pension funds in the community infrastructure and services, which in turn will create more tax revenue and attract more families to raise their families in the city, raising the tax base. Moreover, the tax increment generated by these investments would
be earmarked for Chicago’s pension funds, allowing the debt to be drawn down more rapidly. Chicago Public Schools are sadly lacking in athletic facilities, so that would be a perfect place to start.

Gaming industry, LaSalle Tax and increased taxes on Medical marijuana dispensaries

Dump the TIF program, return over $700 million in uncommitted surplus and shut down select TIF’s that are the most egregious diversions of city property tax revenue.

I would propose increases in some fines imposed by law enforcement, a tax on trading at the CBOT and Mercantile Exchange (Not per share traded basis but per trade basis), and a reduction in unnecessary spending.

I support the introduction of a fair, progressive tax in the state of Illinois; I believe that such a levy
has the potential to bring in a great deal of added revenue for the State and City while limiting the
negative impact on citizens, especially those who cannot afford additional costs.

Transaction Tax would help tremendously, There needs to be fairer tax system in place where
large corporations do not get a pass by not contributing their fair share of paying taxes to help the
economy for our city or ‘and state. When revenue is being disseminated into wards throughout
the city with the use of taxpayers T.I.F. fund alderman should be held accountable on how it is
being used. We also need to additionally identify different sources of revenue that are not fines or

Joseph J. Moseley II IVI-IPO 2015 Chicago City Council


Here are the cold and
unvarnished facts: future years' city budgets cannot be balanced without significant cuts in
services and/or tax increases, probably a combination of both. Because we've avoided having
this discussion for so long, the cuts and tax increases will hurt.
The challenge for mayor and City Council is to make every effort to ensure that the service cuts
and tax increases are as fair as possible, with those most able to endure them carrying the
heaviest burden.
Before we do that, however, we need to shine a bright light on the way we do business in
Chicago. The mayor and City Council will not be able to summon the necessary political support
for the inevitable painful decisions that must be made as long as the public believes that waste,
fraud and inefficiency run rampant in Chicago.
Truth be told, you could eliminate every ounce of waste, fraud and fat from the city budget and
we'd still be faced with a yawning deficit. But that's no excuse for ignoring the millions of dollars
that are wasted.
Conducting a forensic audit, doubling the Inspector General’s budget and establishing an
independent City budget office modeled after New York’s Independent Budget Office will send a
powerful message to Chicago's taxpayers that we are finally serious about safeguarding their
hard-earned tax dollars.
Finally, we need to involve the residents of Chicago in making these difficult budgetary decisions
and we need to do so in a very meaningful way. "Dog and pony show" budget hearings will no
longer suffice.
In my own ward, I gave the residents of my ward the power to decide by popular vote how to
spend $1.3 million in discretionary dollars I get to spend in my ward on infrastructure projects.
Known as participatory budgeting, this nearly year-long effort engages my constituents in a real
conversation about the trade-offs necessary in making tough budgetary decisions.
I found out that when you give people the information they need and meaningful time to
thoughtfully deliberate, they end up making very good budgetary decisions and, more importantly,
become invested in those decisions.
The mayor and City Council should adopt some of the elements of participatory budgeting in next
year's budget deliberations. It's time to treat the residents of Chicago with the intelligence they
deserve and give them real power to make real decisions.

No response provided

I believe that retaining income-producing assets, rather than privatizing them, and dedicating
their revenue streams to Revenue Bonds is a better way to retain control of assets and use them
for public benefit. I also believe surplus TIF funds need to be returned to taxing bodies.

I believe that in order to keep our promises to pensioners, and still provide vital services to
Chicago residents we need to keep all opinions on the table and explore new revenue streams
that can streamline our budget and put us on a path to prosperity. I am open to expanding the
sales tax rate in the City as well as a progressive city income tax and the “LaSalle Street Tax.”
We should also consider expanding the City sales tax rate on some services within City limits
and reforming our corporate tax code to reallocate needed funds away from corporate subsidies
and toward pension funding.

Chevette A. Valentine IVI-IPO 2015 Chicago City Council


I believe that retaining income-producing assets, rather than privatizing them, and dedicating
their revenue streams to Revenue Bonds is a better way to retain control of assets and use them
for public benefit. I also believe surplus TIF funds need to be returned to taxing bodies.