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Chicago's $63 billion debt crisis

Chicago's $63 billion debt crisis

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Published by Zoe Galland
The average Chicago household owes as much as $83,000 for unfunded pension liabilities and other City Hall debt — well over what the typical family makes in a year. Here's the study.
The average Chicago household owes as much as $83,000 for unfunded pension liabilities and other City Hall debt — well over what the typical family makes in a year. Here's the study.

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Published by: Zoe Galland on Sep 16, 2013
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09/25/2013

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Additional resources: illinoispolicy.org
190 S. LaSalle St., Suite 1630, Chicago, IL 60603 | 312.346.5700 | 802 S. 2nd St., Springfeld, IL 62704 | 217.528.8800
ILLINOIS POLICY INSTITUTESPECIAL REPORT
The hidden bill:
Chicago taxpayers and the looming crisis
BUDGET & TAXSEPT. 12, 2013
 
Contents
Executive Summary
.............................................................................................................................................................................................. 3
Chicago’s pension problems
........................................................................................................................................................................... 5
City of Chicago total debt: $48.9 billion
..................................................................................................................................................... 6Pension debt: $36 billion .................................................................................................................................................................................... 7Long-term debt: $12 billion ................................................................................................................................................................................ 9Health insurance debt: $900 million .............................................................................................................................................................. 10
Chicago Public Schools total debt: $19.8 billion
................................................................................................................................. 11Pension debt: $11.1 billion .............................................................................................................................................................................. 12Long-term debt: $5.6 billion ............................................................................................................................................................................ 13Health insurance debt: $3.1 billion ................................................................................................................................................................ 13
Chicago’s pro-rata share of Chicago Transit Authority total debt: $4.8 billion
...................................................................... 14Chicago’s pro-rata share o the CTA’s pension debt: $800 million ....................................................................................................... 15Chicago’s pro-rata share o the CTA’s long-term debt: $4.0 billion ....................................................................................................... 16Chicago’s pro-rata share o the CTA’s health insurance debt: $62 million surplus ............................................................................ 16
Chicago Park District total debt: $1.6 billion .............................................................................................................................
17Pension debt: $630 million .............................................................................................................................................................................. 18Long-term debt: $900 million .......................................................................................................................................................................... 19Health insurance debt: $40 million ................................................................................................................................................................ 19
Chicago’s pro-rata share of Cook County and Cook County Forest Preserve total debt: $9.7 billion
......................... 20Chicago’s 2012 pro-rata share o Cook County pension debt: $6.6 billion ........................................................................................ 21Chicago’s pro-rata share o Cook County long-term debt: $2.1 billion ................................................................................................ 22Chicago’s pro-rata share o Cook County health insurance debt: $1 billion ....................................................................................... 23
Chicago’s pro-rata share of Metropolitan Water Reclamation District total debt: $2.1 billion
....................................... 24Chicago’s 2012 pro-rata share o Cook County pension debt: $551 million ..................................................................................... 25Chicago’s pro-rata share o MWRD long-term debt: $1.4 billion ........................................................................................................... 26Chicago’s pro-rata share o MWRD health insurance debt: $177 million ............................................................................................ 27
Sources and methodology
............................................................................................................................................................................. 28
Endnotes
................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 31
 
illinoispolicy.org | 3
Chicago’s ofcial debt totals $63.2 billion*
All debt and obligations in billionsPensionsLong-term debtRetiree healthinsuranceTotal debtTotal debt andobligationsper capitaCity o ChicagoCity oChicago-$12.0*$0.5$12.4$4,600Fireman's Annuity and Beneft Fund$3.0-$0.05$3.1$1,100Chicago Police Pension Fund$6.9-$0.2$7.1$2,600Municipal Employees' Annuity and Beneft Fund$8.4-$0.2$8.6$3,200Laborers Pension and Welare Funds$1.0-$0.04$1.1$400Subtotal$19.4$12.0$0.9$32.2$11,900City o Chicago’s sister governmentsChicago Public Schools$8.0$5.6$3.1$16.7$6,200Chicago Transit Authority (pro-rata)$0.8$4.0-$0.06$4.8$1,800Chicago Park District$0.4$0.9$0.04$1.4$500Subtotal$9.2$10.6$3.1$22.9$8,400Chicago’s pro-rata share o Cook County governmentsMWRD$0.6$1.4$0.2$2.1$800Cook County and Forest Preserve$3.0$2.1$1.0$6.0$2,200Subtotal$3.5$3.5$1.2$8.1$3,000Total debt and obligation burden or Chicago taxpayers$32.1$26.1$5.2$63.2$23,300
Source: 
City o Chicago; Chicago Public Schools; Chicago Transit Authority; Chicago Park District; Cook County; Cook County Forest Preserve; Civic Federation; Metropolitan Water Reclamation District; all associated pension unds; U.S. Census Bureau; Commission on Government Forecastingand Accountability.
*Note: 
2012 data used where possible, most recent data available used otherwise. Numbers may not add due to rounding. City o Chicago long-term debt excludes O’Hare and Midway bonds. Long-term debt rom all governments is rom 2011, with the exception o the city o Chicago, which is rom 2012. SeeSources and Methodology or more inormation.
The city o Chicago has long been regarded as an economicengine o the Midwest. It is home to some o the country’slargest industries and more than 30 o the nation’s Fortune500 companies. Chicago is accessible by road, rail and water,and is located in a state that boasts an abundance o naturalresources.But decades o fscal mismanagement by governmentagencies in Chicago have put the metropolis at a crossroads.In July 2013, the city o Chicago released a grim budget reportthat showed that the city owed billions o dollars in debt andununded pension and health insurance liabilities.But the city Chicago is not the only government agency thatcity residents pay taxes to – taxpayers also und the operationsChicago Public Schools, the Chicago Transit Authority, theChicago Park District and a large share o Cook County.This is the frst report that adds together all the debts andliabilities o the major government units operating in Chicago– a necessary step in ully understanding how much debtChicago taxpayers are expected to shoulder.All told, Chicago residents are ofcially on the hook or $63.2billion in government pensions, health insurance and other debt.This staggering fgure totals more than $23,000 per Chicagoresident, or more than $61,000 per household.
Executive summary

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