Monday, April 29, 2013

Chicago Proposes Water Rates Compromise For Nonprofits

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is proposing a compromise for nonprofits that only recently found out they would be losing their exemption from water rates. The announcement came after meetings with leaders from nonprofits and select aldermen.

One of Mayor Emanuel's central promises of his election campaign was to end the practice of supplying free water to the many nonprofits in Chicago in order to help the city's budget. According to a report on Chicago, the Mayor had said the practice cost the city $20 million per year.

The water policy was changed as promised, but quickly met resistance from nonprofits, which claimed the rates were negatively affecting their ability to operate. While remaining firm on his pledge that he would not "give away" tax payer's money, Emanuel signaled last year that he would at least "study" a proposal by his aid Bob Fioretti, that would implement a sliding scale for rates based on an organization's assets.

Today's announcement indicates that he agreed with that plan, as the Mayor's compromise shares some of the features of Fioretti's plan. Under the compromise, nonprofits with overall assets under $1 million would not have to pay water fees. Those valued at between $1 million and $10 million, however, would still pay the feed but would get a 60 percent exemption. Those between $10 million and $250 million would get a 25 percent exemption.

Finally, those valued at more than $250 million would receive no additional exemption, although a public-museum exemption would remain at 20 percent regardless of asset level.

You can read the full story on DNAinfo's website.

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