While Illinois legislative leaders were keeping mum on the deal they forged on school funding, Mayor Rahm Emanuel took to the podium Thursday evening to trumpet Chicago’s gains in the deal, as well as a few details. Emanuel said legislative leaders plan to introduce a package similar to SB1, including a Chicago pension pick up and the same funding for the city as promised in SB1.
“That, and more,” crowed Emanuel.
Creating confusion near the end of the presser’s question and answer period, Emanuel was asked if Chicagoans should expect a property tax increase.
“I think the answer is, I think that actually, we look at this a little…Yes,” Emanuel said, before briefly pausing, “but I also look at this slightly different, if I can add a perspective. I think they were hit hard a long time ago. When you’re paying for everyone else’s teachers’ pension and you don’t get anything back, and for the first time your money’s coming back to a 606 ZIP code, I think that’s a big step forward.”
After this outlet and others Tweeted last night that the statement was a “yes” to property taxes, Mayoral spokesperson Matt McGrath shot back, “Easy there. He was agreeing with the assessment that Chicagoans have stepped up to pay more in taxes. Listen to entire answer.”
Asked if he would deny there will be a property tax increase, McGrath responded, “I’d refer you to the first Q&A of the presser on that one. But if you’d rather parse words and tweets on a lovely night I can’t stop you.”
The first question was “Does this include a property tax increase?” To which Emanuel provided neither a yes nor no.