Chicago’s mayor says city has a massive budget deficit

Lori Lightfoot

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago is in a deep financial hole and the city’s new mayor says it will take more than tax increases and borrowing to close it.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot in her first state of the city address on Thursday said Chicago will have an $838 million budget deficit for the fiscal year that will begin Jan. 1. She said the administration of former Mayor Rahm Emanuel did not leave a credible plan to deal with the problem.

Lightfoot declined to give specifics on how that deficit will be filled, which she says is down from the $1 billion deficit estimated when she took office in May. Lightfoot said the specifics of revenue-raising will come in a budget plan she’ll unveil in October.

Lightfoot says she has already decided against relying on a massive tax increase and increased borrowing. She said she will try not to raise revenue on the backs of those least able to pay and at the same time not drive businesses out of Chicago.

The mayor pointed to pension costs as a major issue facing the city.