Oct 4, 2022 - Politics

Lightfoot preaches equity in 2023 budget proposal

Photo illustration of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot with lines radiating from her.

Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Mayor Lori Lightfoot presented her $16.4 billion 2023 budget proposal to city council yesterday, touting the lowest budget gap in her time as mayor — $127.9 million.

Driving the news: The mayor pitched it as a "stability budget." She proposed boosting spending on the police department and abortion services without raising property taxes.

  • Lightfoot says that while 2022 amusement and real estate tax revenue was stronger than anticipated, the budget would still rely on federal pandemic stimulus funds.

Yes, but: Chicagoans don't get their tax bill from the city. Instead it's rolled into the bill sent from Cook County.

What they're saying: "Getting our fiscal house in order is foundational," Lightfoot said in her speech to city council.

  • "Be bold with me."

Zoom out: Lightfoot focused on equity and combating generational poverty, two issues she ran on in 2019.

  • "I am and will continue to be unapologetic about the need to invest south of Roosevelt Road and west of Ashland," she said.

💰 Other budget highlights:

🚓 Crime/violence: The mayor wants an additional $100 million for public safety.

  • CPD's budget would increase from $1.88 billion in 2022 to $1.94 billion in 2023. The mayor says this would include updating police vehicles and securing more helicopters.
  • $36 million would go to consent decree compliance.

🏘 Housing: The mayor made a pledge to increase affordable housing units while proposing $200 million to reduce homelessness.

  • She also wants to set aside $3 million to launch a "Tiny Homes initiative."

💳 Pensions: The proposal includes paying more to the city's pension debt, including launching a $242 million fund to "essentially end paying the minimum monthly payment on our pension credit card."

What's next: The City Council must approve the city's 2023 budget by Dec. 31.

Editor's note: This story was corrected to note that Chicago taxes are included in the county tax bill, not that Cook County has more property taxes than Chicago.


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