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City Council Approves 2014 Chicago Budget

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The City Council approved Mayor Emanuel's 2014 city budget that includes the highest-in-the-nation cigarette tax and counts on millions in revenue from tickets issued by speed and red light cameras.

The $7 billion package to fund the city's operations passed 45-5. Aldermen Scott Waguespack, Bob Fioretti, Ricardo Munoz, Nick Sposato and John Arena voted no.

The budget does not include the hiring of new police officers favored by some alderman like Munoz. Instead, the city will spend around $75 million in overtime.

The cigarette tax will increase by 50 cents a pack. The state and local tax on cigarettes sold in Chicago will now be $7.17 a pack--the highest in the nation.

The budget also counts on around $120 million in revenue from tickets issued by the city's red light and speed cameras.

Other revenue-generating highlights:

  • Hikes in various parking fines, and vehicle impound fees, which should bring in $10 million.
  • Higher taxes on cable TV services, which are expected to bring in $9 million more.
  • The new speed cameras, which the city has estimated would bring in $60 million, matching the haul from red light cameras.
  • Higher fees for zoning applications; and higher fees for anyone who files zoning applications in person, rather than online, which are expected to bring in $4 million in additional revenue.
  • A 50-cent-per-pack increase in the city's cigarette tax, for another $7 million.

The Emanuel administration also expects a growth of more than $100 million in rebounding revenues from sales taxes, income taxes, hotel taxes, and the real estate transfer tax.

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