CHICAGO—(ENEWSPF)—November 17, 2014. Making sure Chicago’s future is financially stable requires bold thinking and bold action. That is why Mayoral Candidate Dr. Amara Enyia is calling for a forensic audit of every city department to identify waste, and a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) to raise much-needed revenue for the city. Dr. Enyia is the first candidate to push for the FTT.
“The failed policies under former Mayor Richard M. Daley continued under the current mayor make a property tax increase to address pension payments almost inevitable next year, but none of our current elected officials have the courage to say it,” said Enyia. “This mayor closed 50 schools and 6 mental health clinics while our infrastructure is crumbling and services reduced all in the name of budget cuts. Yet the city has no real revenue plan besides continuing to privatize our public assets and increasing amusement taxes, red light and speed camera tickets, parking tickets and fees. Plus, waste continues because of staggering corruption and lack of transparency.”
“We must push for a full forensic audit to free up existing revenue and reduce costs. Also, we must push for a Financial Transaction Tax instead of nickel-and-diming Chicagoans,” Enyia said.
The FTT is a small fee on trading of stocks, bonds, futures, options and credit default swaps at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). Since Chicago is second in the country in the volume of trading at CBOT and CME, a transaction fee on those trades could generate billions of dollars in revenue for the city.
“There is no other revenue source substantial enough or as sustainable as the FTT. And since it’s a tax on the trades and not on the CME and CBOT themselves, there’s no need to fear that our finance industry will flee the city, as many critics claim,” she said.
Over 30 countries, including Australia, Switzerland, and the UK, and international cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore, have some form of the FTT. The tax has broad support among prominent economists including Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz and Jeffrey Sachs.
“The current mayor will not push for an FTT because his friends in the finance industry largely fund his election campaigns. These same friends recklessly play with taxpayer money on risky toxic swaps that starve our children of desperately needed funding for our schools,” Enyia said. “It’s time for Chicago’s elected officials to think beyond what’s in their political interest and work to move us forward. We know that continuing to plug budget shortfalls on the backs of middle income and low-income residents is simply not sustainable.”
Dr. Enyia’s economic growth and revenue plan ensures long-term financial stability. Moving Chicago in the right direction requires strong, ethical, transparent leadership to tackle the tough issues and present bold ideas to address them. Dr. Enyia represents what Chicago needs now, and in the future.