Penny Pritzker’s dig at Mike Johnson

MAY 22, 2024 | POLITCO | by Shia Kapos

— GRADING CHICAGO: Truth in Accounting, an Illinois-based group that works to improve accounting standards in government, is out with its annual “Financial State of the Cities” report today. Among the findings: Chicago’s financial condition worsened more than $206 million despite increased tax collections and federal Covid relief funds.

Financial State of the Cities 2024

FEBRUARY 15, 2024

At the end of the fiscal year 2022, 53 cities did not have enough money to pay all of their bills.

Illinois has more "rainy-day" funds on hand

DECEMBER 24, 2023 | ADVANTAGE NEWS | by Andrew Hensel

"Illinois is touting its rainy day fund, which has recently passed the $2 billion mark. However, some financial analysts say the state is lying to itself about its finances.

After an $11.5 million deposit, Illinois' Rainy Day Fund is now $2.005 billion, up from $48,000 in 2017, which would have only allowed the state to run properly for 30 seconds."

On the Brink of Financial Collapse: 10 Cities In Serious Danger of Bankruptcy

JUNE 6, 2023 | MSN | by Ben Rice

"Sobering Statistics 

The study, called Financial State of the Cities 2023, was done by Truth in Accounting. It has some difficult truths: 50 out of 75 cities could not pay their bills; the combined debt for all 75 cities is $267 billion. Moreover, elected officials didn’t include the cost of government in this figure, instead pushing it onto future taxpayers."

Chicago Mayoral Race

APRIL 4, 2023 | by Sheila Weinberg

The Chicago Mayoral race is underway. This is an important election for Chicago and Illinois. Therefore, every voter must be “fiscally educated” before entering the voting booth. 

Chicago mayoral candidates break down how they would manage city budget

MARCH 30, 2023 | ABC 7 CHICAGO | by Sarah Schulte

"CHICAGO (WLS) -- With the April 4 runoff election now less than a week away, we're taking a closer look at how the candidates for mayor differ on some key issues.

One that affects every person in Chicago is managing the city's finances and budget.

The country's third-largest city has a $28 billion budget to cover everything from police, fire, schools, parks, garbage pickup and snow removal -- and it's controlled by the mayor."

Chicago Style Politics

MARCH 8, 2023

I'm sure you've heard the Mayor Lightfoot news by now. 

What does this mean for Chicago? What does this mean for the country?

Chicago ranked second worst in the nation in our most recent report on the fiscal health of our 75 largest cities. 

As the third largest city in our country, Chicago has affected culture and politics.  

How could it not????

Financial State of the Cities 2023

FEBRUARY 7, 2023

This year's report highlights the volatility and risk surrounding pension plan assets and corresponding pension liabilities.

A financial watchdog report estimated each taxpayer in Chicago would need to pay $43,100 to settle the city’s debt. It stands at No. 2 for big U.S. cities. Blame city leaders for repeatedly making pension debt worse.

FEBRUARY 4, 2022 | ILLINOIS POLICY INSTITUTE | by Patrick Andriesen

Includes: "The authors gave Chicago the 'F' rating because elected leaders have repeatedly made financial decisions that failed to address the city’s growing debt burden, primarily driven by unfunded pension liabilities. "

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot spent $281.5 million in federal COVID-19 relief money on police payroll

FEBRUARY 1, 2022 | THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE | by Editorial

“Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration spent $281.5 million in federal COVID-19 relief money on Chicago Police Department personnel costs, prompting an angry response Wednesday from activists and some aldermen. … ”

Chicago has second highest debt of US cities

JANUARY 27, 2022 | WBBM NEWS RADIO 780 (ILLINOIS) | by Mike Krauser

By Mike Krauser, includes 40-second radio segment, and text “Chicago is the Second City when it comes to public debt. Chicago is considered a ‘sinkhole city’ by the financial watchdog group, ‘Truth in Accounting,’ because there is not enough cash to cover the debt. … But most of the largest cities are in the same boat. A total of 61 of the 75 cities covered in the report are considered ‘sinkhole cities’ that owe more than they have.”

Chicago’s debt per taxpayer is second highest of top U.S. cities


By Greg Hinz, includes “As if Chicago needed a reminder, a new report out today dings the city pretty sharply for accumulating billions and billions of dollars in unfunded pension liabilities. … A Truth in Accounting study finds $43,100 owed per taxpayer, but there's signs of progress on the pension front.”  (Note: Truth in Accounting’s new “Financial State of the Cities” report is available here.)

A property tax time bomb is ticking away in Chicago

JANUARY 26, 2022 | THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE | by Paul Vallas

Op-ed by Paul Vallas, includes “Two years ago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot oversaw the passage of a city ordinance that left residents with guaranteed annual property tax increases. By continuing the tradition of not blocking Chicago Public Schools from increasing taxes to its levy limit and going back on her promise to not use annual tax increment financing surpluses to offset TIF-generated property tax increases, …”

Warmer states lure cops from demoralized Chicago Police Department


Includes “Police departments in states like Florida and Texas, as well as local Illinois suburbs, are stepping up efforts to aggressively recruit cops from Chicago, where morale has sunk … Suburban departments are benefiting from a state law that took effect in August, 2021, allowing Chicago cops to transfer up to five years of active service to a police pension system for suburban officers until the end of 2023.”

Financial State of the Cities 2022

JANUARY 25, 2022

Truth in Accounting has released its sixth annual Financial State of the Cities report.

PRESS RELEASE: Majority of U.S. cities finances worsened during beginning of COVID-19 pandemic

JANUARY 24, 2022

Despite receiving federal assistance from the CARES Act and other COVID-19 related grants, the majority of cities’ finances worsened. Total debt among the 75 largest U.S. cities amounted to $357 billion at the end of the fiscal year 2020, which was $23.5 billion worse than the last fiscal year.

Inflation spike means higher property taxes for Chicago homeowners next year


By John Byrne (Chicago Tribune), includes “The ongoing spike in inflation is likely to drive an increase in Chicago property taxes next year. Under a budget rule passed under Mayor Lori Lightfoot in 2020, property taxes are tied to inflation. … Lightfoot could opt to ask the council to deviate from the formula. A city spokeswoman did not respond to questions about whether Lightfoot might do so in the face of the 5% increase.”

Feds urged to investigate city’s use of COVID-19 relief funds

JANUARY 11, 2022 | CHICAGO SUN-TIMES | by Manny Ramos

By Manny Ramos, includes “Community organizers and Ald. Rossana Rodriguez (33rd) are calling on federal officials to investigate the city’s use of COVID-19 relief funds, claiming the mayor’s office wrongly allocated money to pay down city debt instead of helping residents, as intended. ”

Chicago alderman’s legal tab is $2.7 million – and growing

JANUARY 10, 2022 | THE PANTAGRAPH (ILLINOIS) | by Bill Ruthhart

By Bill Ruthhart (Chicago Tribune), includes “Embattled Ald. Edward Burke has spent more than $2.7 million on legal fees, tapping a deep reservoir of campaign funds built up over decades as he awaits trial on charges of racketeering, bribery and attempted extortion. … All the lawyering may be costing Burke a fortune, but it’s also helping delay what promises to be a high-profile public corruption case, even by Chicago standards. ”

Chicago Fed board chairwoman Pramaggiore steps down amid probe of former employer

JANUARY 10, 2022 | THE WALL STREET JOURNAL | by Michael Derby

By Michael S. Derby, includes “The Chicago Fed said that Ms. Pramaggiore stepped down from her position on Oct. 25. The resignation wasn’t made public by the Chicago Fed until it was confirmed by a bank spokesperson in response to a question from The Wall Street Journal. … ”

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