At Issue: Government Watchdog Discuss Mayor Lightfoot's Plans In Closing Budget Shortfall

Craig Dellimore
August 23, 2019 - 1:27 pm
Laurence Msall, President of the Civic Federation

WBBM Newsradio/Craig Dellimore


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Next Thursday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is expected to outline her plans for closing what could be a billion-dollar budget shortfall, while still fulfilling her priorities. But a top government watchdog said the task will be far from easy.

Reports suggest Mayor Lightfoot will propose a higher real estate transfer tax on expensive properties in her State of the City speech next Thursday. She also may call for expanding the sales tax to high-end services like lawyers and accountants.

Laurence Msall, President of the Civic Federation, said estimates of a billion-dollar budget gap are realistic. And Mayor Lightfoot does not want to raise property taxes. Still, he said, her other options may not be enough.

"It will not be enough to just try to tax people at the higher ends or people who are selling higher-end property. There will need to be very significant structural changes in how the city delivers services, and there will probably be new revenue," he said.

Civic Federation President Laurence Msall is the guest on our At Issue ISSUE this weekend and you can hear more of his thoughts Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.