Today in "Democrat-run utopia" news...
The city of Chicago appears to be on the precipice of a credit downgrade, according to its Chief Financial Officer Jennie Huang Bennett. She said on Tuesday that she's "not sure" the city could make it through budget season without facing an inevitable downtick in its rating, according to Bloomberg.
The admission came during a virtual City Council Committee on Budget and Government Operations meeting while answering a question from an alderman about why the city doesn't take on more debt to keep property taxes lower. Bennett is working to try and balance the city's budget for a longer term horizon by raising taxes and trying to create consistent revenue streams.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot is looking to implement a property tax increase of $94 million and a refinance of the city's $1.7 billion in outstanding bonds to try and alleviate some of the financial distress. Because we're sure citizens of Chicago are in a major rush to fork over more money to a city government that has enabled protests and riots that turned the city into chaos over the summer.
In fact, back in August, we wrote about how Chicago citizens were looking to move out of the city amidst the rise in chaos and Lightfoot's ineptitude.
The city's soaring crime was national news this year and many residents were claiming they "no longer feel safe" in the city's epicenter. Aldermen say their constituents are leaving the city and real estate agents say they are seeing the same.
Real estate broker Rafael Murillo said people were moving to the suburbs quicker than planned: “And then you have the pandemic, so people are spending more and more time in their homes. And in the high-rise, it starts to feel more like a cubicle after awhile.”
Additionally, those who once planned on buying downtown were reconsidering, he said. He said over the summer that had had talked to "three or four" sellers who lived downtown and wanted out so they can move to the suburbs.
He commented: “They want to feel safe. They want to be able to come outside their homes and enjoy their neighborhood amenities, whether it’s running at the park, enjoying a nice little dinner, shopping. But with everything going on, there are a lot of residents who are not feeling safe right now.”
Resident Neil Spun, who has lived in Chicago for more than 30 years, said: “There have been riots before, and looting. It just seems to me now that the city isn’t doing anything about it. I don’t see this getting any better, and so I’d like to leave.”
S&P has the city at BBB+, which is three levels above junk, with a negative outlook. “Ability to absorb the additional pension expenditures and stay on a course to structural balance will be critical to maintaining the rating,” S&P said.
And newsflash to Lori Lightfoot: it's going to be awfully tough to bring in that extra property tax revenue as citizens turn tail and flee the city...