City Faces "Enormous Challenge" in Balancing 2010 Budget

July 30, 2009

The head of a local watchdog group says it'll be an "enormous challenge" for the Chicago to close its half-billion dollar deficit. That's the 2010 budget shortfall city officials are expecting.

Civic Federation President Laurence Msall praises the Daley administration's "aggressive approach" to this year's fiscal crisis. But Msall says furlough days won't be enough to fill next year's budget gap, which the city pegs at $520 million.

MSALL: It's going to have to make decisions not based on - what are its, just its priorities, but what are its most critical services.

Msall faults the city for not having enough cash set aside in its "rainy day fund" for what he says is the rainiest day in Chicago's fiscal history.

He says it could take a combination of dramatic service cuts and a tax increase to make ends meet in 2010. For it's part, the Daley administration is leaving both options open.