Wednesday, November 09, 2011

How I Balanced My Budget, or, I'm Finding New Revenue Streams

Mentors are all around.  The press* reports on them constantly.  You have to willfully run away from the inspirational stories.

Mentor #1:  City of Chicago.  A daunting deficit is to be laughed at, ignored, and of course dined-and-dashed on the government scale.  In other words, stick the citizenry with the tab.
Suggestion #1: Get the scofflaw dog owners. Animal Control and Care Commission estimates only 5% of dogs have licenses. They. Must. Pay.
Fines could range $20 to $200. The license is $5. People are already paying a $6 tax per rabies shot, per year.
Suggestion #2: Those people who don't shovel the sidewalks? Get them. Ald. Tunney (44th) proposed fining homeowners who don't clear their sidewalks.  And for the ones who drop dead while doing so, the estate will be charged for that removal too.
Suggestion #3, and well on its way to reality: Speeding cameras. Red light cameras were such a revenue hit, let's ramp it up. Illinois Senate and House dutifully passed Mayor Emanuel's bill.
Suggestion #4: Just one city sticker per year. And make it the current year's sticker. None of this 2-3 old stickers on the windshield, turning it into a hangout for the City Sticker Gang.  Or pay $120 fine for improperly displayed sticker.
Mentor #2:  Cook County.  Toni Preckwinkle jumped from City Council to Cook County.  It's difficult to determine if it was a jump up, down, or lateral.
Suggestion #1: Make those slack-jawed unincorporated losers pay for the police protection they don't get. $150 a year.
Suggestion #2: Leave no sin tax unhiked. True to form, Preckwinkle proposes another $0.50 on the hard stuff. The current state/county/city troika on liquor taxes makes Chicago the highest-taxed city in the nation. We're Number One!
Suggestion #3: Get them in their civic duty. Charge for parking at the courthouses. About time the country recouped that $17.14 paid out to jurors. Say, we might even come ahead on the deal!
Suggestion #4: Can't believe we forgot to tax these: billiard tables. And jukeboxes.
Suggestion #5: Don't fail to kick a sucker when he's down. Jack the use tax on sale of titled property, such as real estate, cars, and boats.
Mentor #3: State of Illinois. In the great Combine of Illinois, two legs pay taxes, four legs don't.
Suggestion #1: Raise the personal and corporate income tax, then let big corporations negotiate a lower tax rate. Equal under the law - ha!
*Personal went from 3% to 5%; Corporate from 4.7% to 7%.
Suggestion #2: Don't raise the sin tax - raise the sin activity level. Springfield is trying to pass a gambling bill omnibus. A little something for everyone: a city-owned casino for Chicago; slots at horse tracks; 4 private casinos for the rest of the state.
This entry will be updated as more examples come pouring in.  And taxed appropriately.

*The corporate press, that is.