About Chicago General Obligation Bonds

The City of Chicago is a municipal corporation and home rule unit of local government and, as such, “may exercise any power and perform any function pertaining to its government and affairs including, but not limited to, the power to regulate for the protection of the public health, safety, morals, and welfare; to license; to tax; and to incur debt” except that it can “impose taxes upon or measured by income or earnings or upon occupation” only if authorized by statute.

City of Chicago General Obligation Bonds may be used for:

  • Constructing, equipping, altering and repairing various municipal facilities including fire stations, police stations, libraries, senior and health centers, and other municipal facilities                                                                                                
  • Duly authorized acquisition of improved and unimproved real property within the City for municipal, industrial, commercial, or residential purposes, or any combination thereof, and the improvement, demolition, and/or remediation of any such property  
  • Enhancement of economic development within the City by making direct grants to, or deposits to funds or accounts to secure the obligations of, not-for-profit or for-profit organizations doing business or seeking to do business in the City     
  • Fund cash flow needs of the City                
  • Funding of (A) judgments entered against the City, (B) certain settlements or other payments required to be made by the City as a condition to the resolution of litigation or threatened litigation, and (C) such escrow accounts or other reserves as shall be deemed necessary for any of said purposes                                                                    
  • Grants to assist not-for-profit organizations or educational or cultural institutions, or to assist other municipal corporations, units of local government, school districts, the State, or the United States of America                                   
  • Infrastructure improvements to enhance the development of economic activity, including industrial street construction and improvements; streetscaping; median landscaping; demolition of hazardous, vacant, or dilapidated buildings that pose a threat to public safety and welfare; shoreline reconstruction and riverbank stabilization; residential and commercial infrastructure redevelopment; and railroad viaduct clearance improvements                                                        
  • Public right-of-way infrastructure improvements in City neighborhoods, including street and alley construction and improvements, lighting improvements, sidewalk improvements and replacement, and curb and gutter repairs and replacement                       
  • Provision of facilities, services, and equipment to protect and enhance public safety, including, but not limited to, increased costs for police and fire protection services, emergency medical services, staffing at the City’s emergency call center and other City facilities, and enhanced security measures at airports and other major City facilities                                                                                                       
  • The acquisition of personal property, including, but not limited to, computer hardware and software, vehicles, or other capital items useful or necessary for City purposes  
  • Transportation improvements, including street resurfacing, bridge and freight tunnel rehabilitation, traffic signal modernization, new traffic signal installation, intersection safety improvements, and transit facility improvements