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Chicago's $420 Million Problem

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Chicago budget officials today released the city’s latest financial figures. The books show the city is facing a $420-million budget shortfall.

When Chicago’s Chief Financial Officer Paul Volpe walked up to the podium this afternoon to begin his press conference, it was clearly bad news.

VOLPE: As you know, the nation is in a recession.

Volpe says the bad economy’s a big part of the budget problem. But, also, there’s a long list of revenue accounts that aren’t living up to expectations.

VOLPE: The real estate transaction tax, our sale of city-owned land, building permits, sales tax, income tax, personal property replacement tax, the cigarette tax, vehicle fuel, and bottle water tax.

Throughout the press conference, Volpe wouldn’t get into how the city should close the gap; whether that’s lay-offs, tax increases, or budget cuts.

VOLPE: I’m not going to talk about how we’re going to solve this issue. We certainly have tough choices to make. Today we’re simply framing the issue.

But he echoed what the mayor has said; that property taxes won’t go up. That after city council hiked up property taxes last year to raise $83 million.

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