Ald. O'Shea proposes pension-funding ordinances
Simply put, Chicago's 19th Ward Ald. Matthew O’Shea believes the cash-strapped city should be looking for all the revenue streams it can find right now.
“The alderman truly believes that, anything to be able to bolster pension payments and move the city forward,” a spokesperson from his office told Chicago City Wire.
O’Shea recently sparked some debate on the topic by proposing a series of ordinances that he insists could alleviate some of the pressure from the backs of tapped-out taxpayers. Among his ideas is a plan that would hike the real estate transfer tax on property values in excess of $1 million, which by some estimates would have generated as much as $28 million for the city over a two-year period beginning in 2017, all of which would be earmarked for the city’s municipal pension fund as part of O’Shea’s plan.
O’Shea has also introduced legislation that mandates that any monies generated through a 3-percent excise tax on the legal sale of marijuana also be earmarked for municipal pension funds. With the city burdened by a total budget deficit of more than $700 million, O’Shea has long argued that Chicago should do everything it can to generate enough revenue to balance its books.
"The alderman has long been a proponent of things like extending sales taxes to luxury services, things like law firms and country club memberships,” the spokesperson said. “His goal always is to shift as much of the tax burden away from the middle class as he can.”
O’Shea said the cannabis excise tax idea he is proposing can easily be enacted by city lawmakers, while the real estate tax is a matter that would have to go on the ballot, ultimately leaving it up to voters to decide.