Just months after Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced a plan to raise residential property taxes and charge homeowners for garbage collection, Chicago homeowners may soon be looking at higher water bills. The mayor has introduced a plan to raise the combined water and sewer bill by 7% in order to help with the city’s pension crisis, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The extra funds that come to city coffers through the property tax hike introduced last year will go toward the city’s police and fire pensions, but also for new school construction, while the increase for water and sewage will go towards the Municipal Employee Pension Fund. The increase is expected to contribute $230 million to the pension fund—which is currently in the hole by $18.6 billion—over the next five years. While the water and sewage increase won’t hurt most homeowners in the first year, residents could be paying upwards of $200 more per year by the fourth year of bill increases according to the Sun-Times. The Emanuel administration has indicated that this utility tax increase does not need city legislative approval and could be passed by the the mayor due to the consolidated power under the city’s home rule authority.
- Aldermen told mayor wants new 7 percent tax on water-sewer bills [Chicago Sun-Times]
- Chicago Homeowners About to be Hit With Higher Property Tax Bills [Curbed Chicago]