The new spending plan by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel may eschew suggestions by the city's aldermen on the ways and means to raise taxes. The levees must be increased to close a budget hole for 2018. Two tax increases in this regard are particularly likely. First one, a rise of $1.10 per month in the services fee of all 911 emergency calls on all cellphones and landlines billed to addresses in the city. The hard lobbying done by Emanuel did the trick: lawmakers in 2017 authorized the city to vote on 911 increase. If done, Chicago would earn about $40 million every year. The other is the city fees rise when Lyft and Uber taxis are summoned. The state administration justified this rationale by saying that such ride-sharing services cost the metropolis and also other local governments about $40 million in unrecovered revenues.
An alderman proposed the licensing of bicycles to get more revenues. The administration calculated that if licensing is made compulsory for all the 705,000 bicycles in the city, then the city will earn anywhere between $3.5 million and $7 million. This depends on whether the single-time registration fee is set to $5 or $10. Revenues per year after the first year will go down anywhere between $1 million and $500,000. The program, however, would cost the city $836,000 during the first year. Chicago will have to spend $231,000 every year from the second year onward. The Emanuel administration is also afraid that this tax will stop the sale of bicycles in the city proper.
At present, a fee of 52 cents is arranged on all trips booked through ride-sharing apps. It was suggested by one alderman that the fee per ride could go up to $1. Pickups and drop-offs need a fee of $5 at the two big airports servicing the city: Navy Pier and McCormick Place.
Levy on financial transactions
Another revenue generating idea is to tax the financial transactions made at Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board Options Exchange. The Progressive Reform Caucus of the City Council has long made such a demand. If this is to be done, it will involve making changes to the state law. The federal law complexities must also be navigated. The city noted that there is a chance of exchanges moving out of Chicago due to such levies imposed on transactions. It was also proposed that the cost of yearly residential parking passes be increased.