Chicago to undergo radical leftist shakeup as new mayor’s allies propose defunding the police and taxing the wealthy

The Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE), along with the People’s Unity Platform, are behind the progressive budget plan that boldly starts with: "First we get the money." Saqib Bhatti, one of the plan’s authors, was part of Johnson’s transition team.

Chicago to undergo radical leftist shakeup as new mayor’s allies propose defunding the police and taxing the wealthy
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
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A radical proposal by groups allied with Chicago's new Mayor Brandon Johnson could dramatically transform the city's economic and social landscape. The budget proposal, "12 Billion for a Just Chicago," suggests defunding the police and levying hefty taxes on the wealthy and businesses, stirring controversy in a city already grappling with high crime rates.

The Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE), along with the People’s Unity Platform, are behind the progressive budget plan that boldly starts with: "First we get the money." Saqib Bhatti, one of the plan’s authors, was part of Johnson’s transition team.

ACRE, in a tweet, championed the plan as a means to "reimagine everything in the city from policing to climate justice, housing & more." The bold vision calls for $12 billion in new taxes. A significant share of this would come from a 9% reduction in the Chicago Police Department's budget (approx. $175 million) and eliminating current vacancies in the police department.

Businesses with at least 50 employees, or corporations, would be subjected to a "head tax" of $33 per employee, expected to generate $106 million in revenue. Individuals earning above $100,000 would be levied an additional 3.5% income tax, aggregating to about $1.2 billion. The top 10% of city earners would face a .4% wealth tax, yielding an estimated $960 million annually.

A real estate transfer tax on transactions over $1 million, projected to raise $1.63 million, would be earmarked for housing projects to "eliminate homelessness."

The plan also advocates against using federal funds for law enforcement or Wall Street, proposing the money be redirected to public housing for enhanced community safety.

ACRE argues that the city's budget should be viewed from a moral standpoint and accuses previous budgets of lacking in this aspect. The report stated, "A city budget is a moral document. A moral budget should reflect residents’ priorities and needs..." It also criticized Chicago’s policing system, labeling it as "racist" and ineffective in ensuring safer communities.

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  • By David Menzies

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