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Chicago Faces Lowest Budget Gap Since 2007 in Coming Fiscal Year

  • Pension bills will more than double over next 20 years
  • Pension debt shrank to $28 billion after stepped up payments
Illinois Passes Budget, Moving to Avert Repeat of Record Impasse

Photographer: John Zich/Bloomberg

Chicago next year will see its smallest budget deficit since 2007, a boost for the nation’s third-largest city as it prepares to confront escalating pension bills.

The city is projecting a 2019 shortfall of $97.9 million, according to an annual financial analysis released Tuesday. That marks the eighth straight year of narrowing deficits. Chicago will pay $1.18 billion to its four retirement funds in fiscal year 2019, which is up from $1 billion last year, according to the report. Those payments will more than double over the next 20 years, reaching an estimated $2.9 billion in 2039, the report shows.