CPS Pushing for Property Tax Hike
(Chicago News Cooperative) — For the first time since 2007, Chicago Public Schools will seek to increase the amount of money it collects from property taxes to raise an estimated $150 million over the next fiscal year–and likely add to Chicago residents’ property tax bills. School district officials said the tax increase–to the maximum allowed by state law–is needed to help reduce a $712 million deficit. The tax increase is part of the district’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2012 that was released Friday. Asked if Mayor Rahm Emanuel had signed off on the politically sensitive decision, school district officials said the Board of Education, not Emanuel, decides whether to raise property taxes. But while the school system does develop its budget and has taxing authority, it has been intertwined with the mayor’s office since Mayor Richard M. Daley took control of public schools in 1995. The current CPS leadership and school board were hand-picked by Emanuel.