Budget expert tries to put Chicago's whopping shortfall into perspective

City Hall plaque
Chicago City Hall Photo credit WBBM Newsradio

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) – A respected budget analyst is telling Chicago residents not to read too much into the projected 2024 budget shortfall announced by Mayor Brandon Johnson’s Administration.

The Johnson Administration is projecting a budget gap next year of $538 million, with about $200 million stemming from costs associated with the continuing migrant crisis.

Sarah Wetmore, acting president of the Civic Federation, says a lot has happened since then-mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a projection near the end of term that was considerably smaller -- $85 million.

It’s helpful to have an updated estimate that frames questions such as how much revenue is needed and where that will come from, Wetmore said.

She notes that the Bally’s casino opened downtown this past weekend, and there’s is a proposal for a Real Estate Transfer Tax, both of which can affect the city budget.

Johnson is expected to deliver his formal  budget address to the City Council Oct. 11.

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