Monday, July 31, 2017

The Daily Line: Most (Illinois) legislators aren’t aware that CPS finances are in Grade A, emergency meltdown

Two points worth noting from Mike Fourcher's The Daily Line.  I worked for a guy who told me his job was pointing out the painfully obvious.  Mike's doing that here and the shockingly obvious thing here is the blindness of many Illinois Legislatures.

3. Most legislators aren’t aware that CPS finances are in Grade A, emergency meltdownIn off the record conversations with a dozen or so non-Chicago legislators this past week, all knew that CPS was in financial trouble, but few comprehended the true magnitude of the problem. More than a few eyes popped when I said that without state help or a significant property tax increase, CPS was looking at a nearly $1 billion operating deficit. 
4. Non-Chicago legislators think Chicago needs to start raising its own taxesEven knowing how big Chicago schools’ money problems were, non-Chicago legislators, Democratic and Republican alike, seem to agree that the city needs to start raising its own property taxes. Most knew Chicago’s TIFs were diverting a large portion of property tax revenue for schools and that Chicago has kept property taxes lower than other parts of the state. In their minds, Chicago should be solving its own problems. The city’s internal TIF struggles and fights about equitable property assessment are entirely irrelevant to them as they look at Chicago’s tremendous property wealth in comparison to the rest of the state.

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