By: Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner
Tax the rich. That’s the extent of CTU’s ideas to fund a host of new costs the union is demanding from Chicago.
The CTU recently revealed their standard contract demands for more pay, smaller class sizes, more support services and additional staffing. This time, however, they’ve gone even further, calling on CPS to provide affordable housing for teachers and guaranteed sanctuary status for undocumented students in classrooms.
“Where will the money come from? Rich people,” said CTU Vice President Stacy Davis Gates.
But their revenue ideas don’t match their rhetoric. Yes, the CTU wants a chunk of any future statewide progressive tax, but they want more than that.
“We have a governor who has committed to legalizing recreational marijuana and putting a tax on it, we can take that as well,” Davis Gates said. “They are also talking about sports betting. We can take that. They’re talking about opening a new casino here in the city of Chicago. We can take that.”
Leave aside the fact that the union is talking about “taking” some off the top of Pritzker’s new state revenue ideas – something he won’t be crazy about considering he’ll need every dime to pay for his own multi-billion spending promises.
But think about those sin taxes for a second. Sports betting, marijuana and gambling – just who does the CTU think will be paying the vast majority of those taxes?
The rich? Hardly. Sin taxes are regressive – meaning it’ll be Chicago’s poor and working classes that will bear most of the burden.
That’s not to say that other tax hike ideas the union has trotted out – like city income, commuter and LaSalle Street taxes – are any better. Chicagoans have already been subjected to multiple tax hikes, fees and penalties over the last few years to pay for the city’s bloated costs, corruption and mismanagement. They’re now on the hook for over $140,000 in combined state-local retirement debt per household.
The CTU better watch out about just how much more in benefits it demands. CPS is already five-notches deep into junk territory. The district is losing thousands of students each year – 75,000 students in total since 2000. And it’s got too many empty schools with dismal performances. Not to mention the $25 billion pension hole Moody’s says the district is in.
That seems to be the union’s modus operandi: call for taxing the rich, but end up burdening the poor. And bringing the school district – even the city itself – closer to the edge.
Read more about Chicago Public Schools:
- Chicago Public Schools enrollment tanks, but state money keeps flowing
- Chicago leaders’ hypocritical stance on school choice
- A more likely reason Rahm Emanuel dropped out: the Chicago time bomb
- Illinois taxpayers bailed out Chicago Public Schools so the district could do what?