Chicago appears to be continuing its spiral. But spiral from what? The place has always been a den of bureaucracy and unions and windy politicians and crime.
The city says it is simply enforcing nuisance laws and cracking down on scofflaws. But community activists and civil liberties groups say the laws are predatory, burying guilty and innocent owners alike in debt, regardless of their ability to pay or the effect losing a vehicle will have on their lives.
“There’s plenty of reason to be concerned that there’s injustice being done to people who are mostly poor, people who aren’t in a position to fight back,” says Ben Ruddell, a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Illinois. “The city has been perpetuating an exploitative system, charging exorbitant fees in a way that it knows is likely to make it so folks never get their cars out of impoundment.”…
,,,In 2007, Chicago’s budget had a $94 million deficit. By the time current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel took office in 2011, after years of steadily rising structural deficits and a crippling recession, the city was facing a $650 million annual budget gap, not to mention billions upon billions of dollars in unfunded public pension liabilities.
Emanuel’s solution has been to try and nickel-and-dime his way out of these massive budget gaps. The Emanuel administration has jacked up the costs on just about every minor tax, fine, and permit on the city’s books: cigarette taxes, restaurant permits, valet and loading zone fees for businesses, cable television fees, mandatory vehicle stickers, towing fees, water and sewage, garbage collection, garage parking, even a fine for allowing weeds in one’s yard to grow too tall. His most recent budget proposal increases taxes for Uber and Lyft rides, monthly telephone bills, and big-draw sports and music events.
The state, as in Chicago government, is turning on its own residents because it can’t pay the bills. The peasantry suffers for the sins of the princes.
Sweet Home Chicago!