Chicago Aldermen Willing To Wait And See With Lightfoot Budget Plan

Craig Dellimore
October 23, 2019 - 6:20 pm

WBBM Newsradio


Related: Read: Mayor Lightfoot's Budget Address

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Chicago aldermen seemed pleased Wednesday that Mayor Lightfoot's proposed 2020 budget contains what the administration says is a modest property tax increase, and several were hopeful about some of the other elements.

Lightfoot outlined plans to get more officers on the street, coordinate mental health services and boost affordable housing, even with a budget deficit recently estimated at more than $800 million.

Lightfoot proposes ways to generate $352 million in new revenue, in part through fees on rideshare companies and increases in parking fees.

South Side Alderman Anthony Beale—a vocal Lightfoot critic—says it sounds good for the Mayor to say there’s only a small library property tax hike in her budget.

But he says council members can’t really tell if there will be a big property tax hike or not, at this point, because state lawmakers must approve pension fixes for Chicago.

Freshman North Side Alderman Maria Hadden is keeping an open mind. She said she looks forward to going through the budget with her colleagues, proposal by proposal. Budget hearings begin on Monday.

Thirty-fifth Ward Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa—one of the Democratic Socialists on the City Council—seemed encouraged by proposals for investing in mental health services and water bill relief that the Mayor promised.

He said he's eager to get into the details of the budget to see what it is and is not.