‘First We Get The Money’: Chicago’s New Mayor Linked To Wild Budget Proposal That Attacks Businesses And Cops
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MAY 15: Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson speaks to guests after taking the oath of office on May 15, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. Johnson, a former school teacher and union organizer, replaces outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Leftist allies of Chicago’s new Mayor Brandon Johnson have proposed a budget plan that would tax the rich and businesses, and would effectively defund police in a city already nearly crippled by crime.

The budget plan was proposed by ACRE, the Action Center on Race and the Economy, in conjunction with the People’s Unity Platform and is titled “$12 Billion for a Just Chicago.” The first page begins with step one of the plan: “First we get the money.”

One of the plan’s authors, Saqib Bhatti, was a member of Johnson’s transition team.

ACRE touted the budget plan in a tweet claiming it would “reimagine everything in the city from policing to climate justice, housing & more.”

The budget plan calls for $12 billion in new taxes — which would reportedly come in part from reducing the Chicago Police Department budget ($1.94 billion in 2023) by 9%, or approximately $175 million. The city would also eliminate all current police department vacancies – which, in August of 2022, amounted to over 900 patrol officer vacancies and over 100 detective vacancies.

Corporations — or any business with at least 50 employees — would face a “head tax” of $33 per employee, which the report estimated would bring in $106 million in new revenue. Anyone making more than $100,000 would face an additional 3.5% income tax – totaling approximately $1.2 billion. The city’s top 10% of earners would also get hit with a .4% wealth tax – amounting to $960 million annually.

A real estate transfer tax on transactions of over $1 million — which the report states would generate $1.63 million in revenue — would be used to fund housing projects that the report claims would “eliminate homelessness.”

The plan also demanded that Chicago refuse to use any federal money to fund law enforcement or Wall Street interests, arguing that investing that money in public housing would contribute more to community safety.

The conclusion, according to ACRE, was that the city’s budget had to be approached from a morality standpoint – and that previous budgets had not done so to their satisfaction.


“A city budget is a moral document. A moral budget should reflect residents’ priorities and needs. The challenges Black and Brown communities in Chicago are facing today are a direct reflection of the immoral budgets that mayors and alderpeople have imposed on residents for decades,” the report stated, claiming that Chicago’s policing system had always been “racist” and had not contributed to safer communities.

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