Aldermen Arena, Ramirez-Rosa, Waguespack Call for Responsible Revenue Plan, Vote Against $1.1 Billion Bond Deal

CHICAGO (June 17, 2015)–Aldermen Scott Waguespack (32), Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35) and John Arena (45) voted to oppose the $1.1 billion bond deal proposed at Wednesday’s Chicago City Council meetings, saying more specific plans are needed about the Mayor’s plan to raise revenue to fill budget gaps.

“The administration wants us to blindly borrow a billion dollars with no plan to pay it back,” said Waguespack, who had already voted against the deal in Monday’s Finance Committee hearing. “Your babies and mine are going to be stuck paying the tab. That’s just irresponsible.”

“This massive bond deal will impact the finances of this city well into the next generation. We need at least an outline of a plan to raise the revenue we’ll need to pay for it before we can vote for this,” said Arena. “It’s time to have some real talk about how the City of Chicago is going to raise revenue for such massive borrowing, for the required pension payments and operating expenses of the City. We’ve offered ideas, now we need to see the promised financial plan.”

“If we’re voting to borrow more than $1 billion of taxpayer dollars, we can’t take that lightly,” said Ramirez-Rosa. “Chicagoans deserve to know how this bond deal will be paid for. As their representatives, we as aldermen should fight to make sure that revenue is raised in a fair way that forces the very wealthy and big corporations to pay their share.”

The aldermen pointed to a number of revenue measures that have already been raised as options for consideration, but said they want to see a blueprint of a comprehensive plan.

“There are plenty of options on the table–from a luxury tax on high end purchases like boats and fancy cars and fur storage, to an expanded sales tax on services, and many other options” said Waguespack. “We want to know what combination of possible options we’ll need to get Chicago back on solid fiscal ground.”