City Council approves new Chicago budget

December 2, 2009 (CHICAGO) The $6.8 billion budget includes no new taxes, fees, or fines, and has $35 million in homeowners property tax relief.

The budget is balanced because Mayor Daley used reserve funds from Chicago's 75-year deal to lease its parking meters. Critics charged that Daley had promised to keep at least $400 million of lease money in reserve, but now only $130 million is left.

"You cannot break a contract in 12 months that's supposed to last for 75 years. It's unconscionable, and it's disingenuous, and it's intellectually dishonest," said Ald. Tom Allen, 38th Ward.

"What taxes and fees would they raise to balance our budget? No one presented a bill to raise a tax or raise a fee. What major city service would they like to cut, which ones they'd like to cut? No one said that," said Mayor Daley.

One budget supporter, 34th Ward Alderman Carrie Austin, stressed that Daley pledged to restore the reserve fund when the economy improves.

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