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Debra Silverstein
PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:35pm
Wed Oct 28, 2015

Chicago City Council OK's Budget, Record Property Tax Hike & Lucas Museum

Progress Illinois rounds up the action at Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting, during which aldermen approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2016 budget — including a $588 million property tax hike — and zoning for the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:45pm
Wed Jun 26, 2013

Emanuel Introduces Assault Weapons Ban, Student Safety Measure At Busy Council Meeting

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced an ordinance at Wednesday’s city council meeting that looks to ban the import, sale, transfer and possession of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in the city.

The move comes in response to the concealed carry legislation the Illinois General Assembly passed last month that is currently awaiting action from Gov. Pat Quinn.

State lawmakers are required to come up with new legislation by a July 9 deadline following a federal court ruling back in December that struck down Illinois’ concealed carry ban. The deadline was extended from June 9 to July 9 to give Gov. Quinn more time to consider the bill once it passed.

Under the proposed statewide concealed carry legislation, HB 183, sponsored by State Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg), Illinois municipalities will have 10 days after the bill is signed to pass a new or updated assault weapons measure.

The Chicago Police Department is making a “strong effort” to bring down gun-related crimes and violence in the city in part by putting more police on the streets and getting “kids, guns and drugs” off of them, Emanuel said in remarks after the meeting.

“It is essential that we make sure we do everything to bring safety to all our communities and neighborhoods throughout the city,” Emanuel said. “The assault weapon ban, and making sure it’s comprehensive, is part of that overall strategy — bringing safety throughout our streets.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:02pm
Wed Jun 12, 2013

DePaul Arena Project A 'Monstrosity,' TIF Panelists Say

Chicago's Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Program is intended to take property taxes today for investments that will produce more property taxes in the future, the Chicago Reader's Ben Joravsky said at a TIF forum Tuesday night.

"I have no problem with the TIF program in the essence, but we don’t live in the essence. We live in Chicago, Illinois," said Joravsky, a panelist at the packed TIF Illumination Project's town hall meeting for the 50th Ward.

Joravsky said the city's TIF program has become "deranged" and blasted Mayor Rahm Emanuel's recent plan to kick in $55 million in TIF funds for a new DePaul University basketball arena near McCormick Place.

The $55 million would be used to buy the current property now paying property taxes and essentially turn it into a tax-exempt property.

"It’s a complete reversal of what the whole TIF program is about,” Joravsky said at the forum, held at Devon Bank Tuesday night.