Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot released the city’s 2022 budget forecast Wednesday, projecting a $733 million shortfall as the city continues to recover economically from the coronavirus pandemic.
“While we still have hard work ahead of us in order to close this gap, this figure is a great indication that our city is fiscally bouncing back from this crisis,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “Whereas last year we were faced with a $1.2 billion ‘Pandemic Budget,’ this year we have shifted to a ‘Recovery Budget’ that not only reflects the challenges we have been presented with, but the number of resources we’ve brought to bear to address them.”
Lightfoot’s $12.8 billion budget last year included property and gas tax increases among other revenue-generating and cost-cutting measures to tackle an historic $1.2 billion shortfall that was exacerbated by the impact of the pandemic.
Lightfoot said in announcing her budget proposal last year that 65% of the shortfall was tied to the coronavirus pandemic that cratered revenues like sales tax and more as shutdowns to prevent the spread of the deadly virus caused widespread economic devastation.
The property tax increase in last year’s budget plan was twofold: a one-time increase generating $43 million as well as a plan to raise property taxes each year with inflation, tying it to the consumer price index.
Lightfoot’s plan last year also included an increase on the city’s gas tax by $0.03, from $0.05 to $0.08 cents per gallon, and also generated revenue by lowering the threshold to issue $35 speeding tickets to drivers going as little as 6 to 9 mph over the limit, rather than 10 mph above the limit as it was previously.
It was not immediately clear what this year’s budget proposal may include, with Lightfoot to unveil the forecast at a 10 a.m. news conference that can be watched live in the video player above.