After two budgets filled with hundreds of millions of dollars in tax increases, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is at it again hustling new “creative budget ideas” to plug yet another 9-figure shortfall in the city’s $8 billion budget.
Naturally off the table is any reform of the city government’s wastefulness, corruption and gold-plated pensions. But the good news is Mayor Emanuel again promises to patch the gaps with jumps in fees and permit costs all designed – he says – to affect neither the average property owner nor the city’s rich corporate class.
On the off chance that yet another unexpected budget gap appears, here are 10 other fun, creative revenue enhancements the city should consider:
- Electronic permit filing convenience charge. (Collected by Live Nation)
- Increase City Hall CoinStar change-counting fee from $1.10 cents per dollar to $1.25 cents
- Sell advertising on Chicago Speed Camera pictures
- For aldermen resigning for prison, collect $100,000 “re-stocking” fee for returned security badges
- Establish amusement tax for people-watching at DMV
- Levy “Safe Passage” escort fee: $25 for 20 minutes, $50 for full hour
- Force City Inspector General’s office to go paperless
- Privatize all Chicago Public Schools blackboards
- Rent out unused Lake Michigan water intake cribs for pool parties
- Assess city’s hotel room tax to people sleeping in cars; add boat mooring charge if car is rocking
SkitSketchJeff is Jeff Burdick, who has come to love the simulated suburban grittiness of Mayor Daley’s 10-year-old crumbling planters.
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