On June 29, 2015, over 100 Chicagoans from dozens of nonprofit organizations, unions and universities came together in Bronzeville to discuss real revenue options that are based on sound research and already successfully implemented in states across the country. For example, Illinois could:
- tax luxury items
- tax financial transactions on LaSalle St.
- implement a progressive state income tax
- reform the inequitable TIF program that benefits wealthy areas when it’s supposed to exist to eliminate “slum and blight”
- eliminate corporate loopholes that drain hundreds of millions of dollars a year from the state
- end predatory bank deals
- impose fees on companies that pay their workers so little that the rest of the tax payers have to pay for public assistance for them
These are just a few of the ways that Illinois could raise or save BILLIONS of dollars every year. THEN the state could increase its allocation for public education – as it should, since Illinois is the second worst state in per pupil funding.
Interestingly, the editorial board of Crain’s Chicago published a criticism of Rahm’s management of Chicago Public Schools, blaming him for the current fiscal crisis which he in turn blames on the teachers.
The editorial called him out on the fact that the largest school closings in U.S. history did not in fact save the district any money. It criticized him for rejecting the voters’ demand for an elected school board and even went so far as to give CPS Board President David Vitale an F in management. CPS’ financial mismanagement is being called “undisciplined spending.”
However, Crain’s Chicago goes on to say that the city has run out of revenue options. As the above list shows, there are, in reality, many revenue options available if Rahm is willing to get his billionaire buddies to chip in a little.