DOWNTOWN — The mayor pledged Wednesday there would be no increase in the property, sales or gas taxes in his 2015 budget proposal.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is expected to deliver his fourth budget to the City Council later this month, made the pledge during a news conference at the Chicago Cultural Center.
"We've balanced three budgets in a row holding the line on property, sales and gas taxes, and finding efficiencies and reforms in the system," Emanuel said, adding that he also eliminated the employee head tax on businesses at the same time while replenishing the so-called rainy-day fund.
"In my fourth budget, we will hold the line on property, sales and gas taxes and put money back in the rainy-day fund and continue to look to find efficiencies and reforms ... where you can do better," he added.
Ted Cox says it wasn't quite a "read my lips" tax promise:
The city collects a five-cent-a-gallon gas tax. The city sales tax is 9.25 percent overall, with the state claiming 6.25 percent, Cook County .75 percent and the city 2.25 percent through a 1.25 percent Home Rule Occupation and Use Tax and a 1 percent Retailer Occupation and Use Tax. The city rates have not changed under the Emanuel administration.
At the same time, Emanuel's budgets have been peppered with increases in fines and fees, while Chicago Public Schools — which are not technically part of the city budget — have raised their tax levy, sometimes at the maximum permitted by law. Emanuel did not mention any increases along those lines.
Emanuel has not yet set a date to deliver his budget to the City Council, but it will most likely come at the end of the month after the regularly scheduled council meeting next Wednesday.
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