In a story on Chicago neighborhoods’ recovery from the real estate downturn, DNA Info quotes Rebecca Hendrick, professor of public administration and former GCI scholar, on likely reasons for the slow recovery and cites her 2010 report, “The Great Recession’s Impact on the City of Chicago.” This research was supported by a scholar award from GCI.
One drag on the bounce-back, according to the University of Illinois at Chicago study “The Great Recession’s Impact on the City of Chicago,” is the state’s dependence on property taxes to fund essential public services like education. That study specifically blames Mayor Richard M. Daley’s “broader policy agenda that focuses on public safety, neighborhood investment and avoiding property-tax increases” over the 22 years before Emanuel took office.
“That’s more of an indirect effect,” said UIC Professor Rebecca Hendrick, lead author of the study.
That study cites Daley’s privatization lease agreements on parking meters and the Skyway, with the money going to fill budget deficits during the recession and defray increases in the property taxes. More recently, the Board of Education has authorized maximum increases in its tax levy, and Emanuel has warned of what he’s called a “$600 million pension cliff,” again resulting from pension payments put off under the Daley administration.