Chicago has had its fair share of challenges in 2020. In addition to battling the ongoing pandemic, the city has also had to deal with spikes in violence and civil unrest.
And on top of it all, there’s a cost associated with such difficulties. In fact, that cost is so high that the city currently faces a “historic deficit.”
Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the unsettling news on Tuesday, saying the city “faces a crisis unlike anything we have experienced in our lifetimes.”
The epidemic and rioting have taken its toll, and now their budget deficit for 2021 has skyrocketed.
The millions of dollars in damages the city has sustained is just the tip of the iceberg, too. It’s so bad that Lightfoot calls this a “catastrophic” economic collapse.
Via The Daily Wire:
Chicago’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, announced Tuesday that the city is facing a historic $1.2 billion budget shortfall for the fiscal year 2021, following what the mayor called a ‘catastrophic’ economic collapse caused by the coronavirus pandemic and by widespread rioting and looting that did an estimated $60 million in physical damage to the city’s downtown and untold damage to its tourism industry.
Lightfoot added that the city’s budget for the current fiscal year is now “$799 million in the red.”
To combat this colossal problem, the Mayor won’t rule anything out; she says she will consider “all options.”
This means entertaining new ways of generating revenue for the city. In the past, that has included the possibility of a computer lease tax, a streaming services tax, and higher restaurant taxes.
Unfortunately, because the deficit is so huge, the city might have to consider more drastic measures. And that could impact property owners.
As for the city itself, it may have to start cutting personnel and reassessing its departments. As Lightfoot said:
The reality is that life will be different for the foreseeable future, impacting how services are provided and how departments are structured, and we must adjust to meet that reality.
Some painful choices will need to be made, including the likely necessity of personnel reductions.
Lightfoot also wants a federal bailout for Chicago and the entire state of Illinois. This would theoretically come as part of the fourth coronavirus relief package under discussion in Congress.
Chicago already got about $470 million in federal funding from the third relief package.
But that hasn’t been enough. The Chicago-Sun Times reported that the pandemic has probably cost the city “in excess of $500 million.”
And with the recent difficulties, the deficit has only continued to grow. Unless the pressure lessens soon, this could pose problems for Lightfoot when she seeks reelection.
- Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a “historic” $1.2 billion budget deficit for the city.
- The budget for the year is now “799 million in the red,” due to the strain of the pandemic and the cost of rioting and looting.
- This could result in dramatic increases in taxes. And Lightfoot is also pressing for more federal aid.
Source: The Daily Wire