CHICAGO, IL—As the nation’s capital’s tax bill is finalized, the city is bracing for the biggest tax increase in its history, according to officials.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced on Friday that his city will raise its income tax rate to 10.75 percent, bringing its rate to more than $500 million per year.
Emanuel says the tax increase will benefit businesses and families by raising their payroll taxes, as well as consumers.
The mayor’s proposal comes as the nation struggles with the economic crisis and the impact of the nation having a new president who has threatened to cut Social Security benefits and roll back the Affordable Care Act.
The new tax increases will increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and the city’s unemployment insurance will be eliminated for six months.
The minimum wage has been frozen since 2016 at $7.25 an hour.
Emanuel said the city also wants to raise the minimum gas tax by 50 cents a gallon, the sales tax to help fund its social services programs, and create a new state-run credit for city residents to help pay for the cost of the city budget.
The Mayor’s proposal has been met with strong opposition from labor unions, who say the hike will increase costs for workers and employers alike.
The city’s labor unions have been fighting for years to keep the minimum wages in place, arguing that higher taxes will force businesses to lay off workers.