Chicago-Style: Rahm Imposes Higher Fines

Posted: Nov 07, 2011 8:30 PM

Just in case you were planning on moving to Chicago anytime soon, you may want to think again. Under the guidance of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the city has cracked down on a whole list of items, according to the Chicago Sun Times:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said his plan to raise taxes, fines and fees by $220 million in 2012 includes higher fines for a laundry list of offenses, but he has yet to air that laundry list.

Now, the mayor’s 2012 revenue ordinance makes the details public. It’s a doozy.

The Sun times details some of what they call the "nuisance" fines:

†Allowing weeds to grow to a height that exceeds 10 inches — $600-to-$1,200-a-day, up from $500-to-$1,000.

†Illegal dumping or allowing trash to accumulate in a way that provides a food supply for rats — $300-to-$600, up from $250-to-$500.

†Accumulation of materials or junk on any open lot or other premises not placed on open racks “elevated not less than 18 inches above ground”: $300-to-$600, up from $250-to-$500.

†Failure to maintain vacant lots and keep them clear of debris: $300-to-$600.

†Neglecting to register or renew registration of a vacant building: $500.

Not surprisingly, the bleeding blue city has not spent the past few years in the best financial situation, according to Sunshine Review:

Illinois' financial situation is worse than any other state in the country according to a study by the National Conference of State Legislatures, with the state's budget situation called "tenuous at best."[5][Editor's note: this is from 2010] The state ended FY2010 in worse shape than any other state, with the state’s general fund balance at negative $4.7 billion, the lowest it has ever been.[6]

But the passing of years hasn't helped, according to the same entry: "The state will end FY2012 with a deficit of $8.3 billion according to a Sept. 26, 2011, study by The Civic Foundation. Its study noted that although the state reducing spending, any benefits were negated by higher pension costs and increased borrowing costs. If nothing is done before the end of the fiscal year in June 2012, the deficit will break down to $5.5 billion in unpaid bills from companies that provide services, $1.2 billion in Medicaid payments the state will push off until FY2013, and $1.6 billion is owed to companies for tax returns and health insurance bills for state employees."

They better hope a lot of people are willing to let their weeds grow above 10 inches.