Just as you get hit with those credit card bills reflecting holiday spending, several of life's necessities are going to cost a little bit more for Chicagoans starting Jan. 1, 2014.
The high price of living in Chicago is about to get higher, as a number of new tax and fee increases are set to hit the city, which needs revenue to close a massive budget deficit once again.
An additional $0.50 per pack will be added to existing taxes. The tax rate alone for a pack of cigarettes is more than $7. The city will also charge more for water and sewer fees to replace the aging system.
Property taxes are going up. The Chicago Board of Education approved that last summer. Even if you want to stay home and watch TV, cable services are going up, too.
Driving a car may get pricey. Automated speed cameras are being added around schools and parks. Those tickets cost between $35 and $100. Parking violations will cost more: $250 for parking in a disabled spot, $150 for a fire hydrant and $100 for parking in a rush hour zone.
It's all a little overwhelming for Chicagoans.
"It's breaking my heart," city taxpayer Stephanie Willis said. "I'm starting to think I need to find another place to live, got to be a better way."
"It's on the backs of working middle class," 2nd ward Alderman Bob Fioretti said. "That's why I voted against the last two budgets."