The Chicago City Council's Progressive Reform Caucus released a list of fiscal reforms the group would like to see implemented as a means to achieve "fairness for working families in the 2016 budget process."
After meeting Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Budget Director Alex Holt, caucus members held a press conference detailing the fiscal plans they would like city leaders to consider, including a luxury tax, reforms on tax increment financing, changes to the sales tax, and a Stormwater Stress Tax for large retailers and institutions.
"The proposals we have brought forth today will generate revenue in a fair and equitable manner that protects the wallets of regular Chicagoans while asking the big corporations us to contribute their fair share," said Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th). "We are hopeful that the administration will work with us to pursue our proposals and others that will lift the burden off of Chicago's working families."
The group would also like to see a new amnesty plan put in place for Chicagoans who are plagued by outstanding fines and fees. The progressive caucus would also like to ensure that seniors and working families are protected from any new property increases and are seeking to do so by the expansion of the senior exemption and creation of an exemption for low-income communities. The aldermen are also calling for "an alternative minimum property tax for buildings in the city's Central Business District."
"Chicago got into this mess through backroom deals, so we have to get out of this mess in a transparent, public, visible way," said Ald. John Arena (45th). "We're ready to have an open, public discussion about this budget process and generating revenue in a fair way so that we can build the city Chicagoans want to see."
In addition to Hairston and Arena, Alds. Roderick Sawyer (6th), Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th), Toni Foulkes (16th), David Moore (17th), Ricardo Munoz (22nd), Chris Taliaferro (29th), Scott Waguespack (32nd), Carlos Rosa (35th) and Nick Sposato (38th) are members of the Progressive Reform Caucus.