Arts and Culture in Mayor Emanuel’s Recommended FY14 Budget for Chicago

Chicago skyline

On October 23, 2013 Mayor Rahm Emanuel presented his recommended budget for FY2014 to the Chicago City Council.

The $6.97 billion recommended budget includes a number of proposals aimed to help offset the City's projected $339 million operating deficit, including $120 million in expected fines from red-light and speed cameras, $10 million from a 75-cents-per-pack increase in the city's cigarette tax, and $10 million from higher parking and impounded vehicle storage fees.

The Mayor’s recommended 2014 budget also includes:

  • $31.6 million for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE). While overall funding for DCASE remains steady, this year's proposed budget represents a 1.3% reduction from FY13 levels.  You can find more info on the DCASE budget on pages 64-65 of the city's 2014 budget book HERE.
  • $1.25 million investment to support initiatives of the Chicago Cultural Plan. Mayor Emanuel’s proposed investment of $1.25 million represents a 25% increase in funding in support of Chicago Cultural Plan initiatives from last year’s investment of $1 million.
  • A modified amusement tax exemption. The Mayor’s budget projects $9 million in revenue from boosting the amusement tax rate on cable TV services from 4% to 6%. There were no proposed changes to Chicago’s two-tiered amusement tax to venues which host movies, plays, musical performances, and sporting events.
  • A new “Children’s Fund.”  This fund, supported largely by an anticipated $65 million to $70 million in revenue from children’s safety zones – areas with enhanced signage and automated safety cameras to identify and ticket motorists exceeding speed limits – will support children’s programs, including $13 million in after-school opportunities and $14.5 million in summer jobs. 

To view complete recommended appropriations information for all departments and agencies on the Chicago Data Portal, click HERE. This data set can be filtered by "Department Description" in order to gain more insight about funding levels for specific departments within the budget.

Arts Alliance Illinois will continue to monitor the budget situation closely and keep our network apprised of key developments. Should you have any questions, please contact the Alliance’s Policy & Research Director Brian Inman at 312.855.3105 x12 or via email at

Image credit: Flickr user jonesslinger