Chicago politicians are scraping together money to fund their public pension systems:
The police/fire deal, reached a year ago and included in this year’s city budget, required a $543 million property-tax hike. The deal since has been ratified by the Illinois General Assembly.
The deal with the laborers’ fund shifts to it $40 million a year in receipts from a tax on cell phones that originally had been allotted to other purposes.
Restructuring the municipal fund will require $239 million in additional water and sewer fees when fully implemented over five years.
The situation at CPS remains fluid. But the Board of Education next week is scheduled to consider a $253 million property-tax, and recently received authority to levy an additional $43-million-a-year hike that technically is for construction, but will free up other money in CPS’ budget for pensions.
The system will will need to find another $200 million or so for pensions, money it hopes to get by convincing teachers to pick up the 7 percent of salary they’re supposed to pay themselves, but which the board pays under a decades-old contract deal.
Add all of that up (excluding only the $200 million more that CPS needs to find) and you get $1.118 billion.
Will it be enough?