Ald. O'Shea introduces pension funding ordinances
Chicago's 19th Ward Ald. Matthew O’Shea has introduced a series of ordinances before the City Council that he is convinced could mean millions for the state’s deeply underwater pension systems.
Among his proposals, O’Shea revealed a plan that would hike the real estate transfer tax on property values in excess of $1 million. Some budget analysts insist the change would generate as much as $14 million to state coffers over a 24-month period, which related legislation stipulates be set aside for municipal pension funds.
O’Shea has also introduced legislation that mandates any money generated by a 3-percent excise tax on the legal sale of marijuana also be earmarked for municipal pension funds. As it is, the City of Chicago is reported to be nearly crippled by a budget deficit of more than $700 million, with much of the money being owed to unfunded pension liability.
“While many of my colleagues in the City Council have proposed alternate uses for some of the revenue streams mentioned above, I believe that we must find a way to pay for the government we have now before we add new programs, regardless of how valuable they are,” O’Shea stated in a written proposal. “It's my hope that by adopting these and other new revenue streams, we can address our pension debt and budget deficit without the need for additional property tax increases.”