Snapshot: Appropriation & Staffing Changes from 2023 Budget

2023 Budgeted2024 ProposedNet ChangePercent Change
Positions & FTEs640663233.59%

Departmental Highlights

  • Department of Finance staffing has been relatively stable since its merger with the Department of Revenue in the 2012 budget. A 2020-2022 decline in staffing levels began to reverse in the 2023 budget, and the 2024 proposal would bring the number of budgeted positions to roughly 2012 levels.
  • With 23 new positions, DoF saw one of the largest departmental headcount increases in this year’s budget proposal, primarily driven by the addition of 19 new Traffic Enforcement Technician positions and two additional supervisory roles for the same.
  • The department’s budget increase was primarily driven by increased staffing costs. The largest non-staffing appropriation increases were for postage, advertising, and accounting and auditing, with advertising seeing a dramatic 1353% increase over the previous year’s budget. 

Historical Context

In Mayor Emanuel’s first budget (2012), the then-existing Department of Finance was merged with the larger Department of Revenue to create the version of the office operating today. Since the merger the department’s budgets have remained relatively consistent, with growth rates lower than the citywide average in both appropriations and staff positions.

Setting aside the jump from the 2011 budget to 2012, the department budget from 2012-2023 grew at an average rate of 3.8% per year. Departmental budgets overall increased an average of 7.1% per year over the same time period, while the total city budget including Finance General appropriations grew at an average rate of 9.1% annually.

The department’s budgeted workforce grew at a rate of roughly -0.3% annually from 2012-2023. Overall budgeted positions for the city remained relatively flat across the same time period, with minor year-to-year fluctuations averaging out to an overall growth rate of 0.7%

DoF’s appropriations and staffing increases in the current proposed budget exceed both the department’s historical averages and the city’s overall proposed budget growth. 


Overall headcount at the Department of Finance was up 23 positions, one of the larger departmental increases in the 2024 budget proposal. 

Among the increases were 19 new Traffic Enforcement Technician positions, more than doubling the department’s budgeted staffing level for that title. Supervisory traffic enforcement positions also doubled, up from two budgeted positions to four. 


Largest Appropriations

Apart from wage/salary-related increases, the largest cost drivers in the Department of Finance budget are professional and technical services (outside contracting) and IT contracting. 

Change from Previous Year

The department’s advertising budget saw the largest proportional increase, jumping from $15,000 in 2023 to $218,000 in the 2024 proposal. The largest overall non-staffing increases were for postage, advertising, and accounting and auditing, while appropriations for outside contracting and IT maintenance contracting saw the largest decreases. 


Geoffrey Cubbage is a policy and budget analyst focusing on the Illinois General Assembly and Chicago's City Council. Prior to joining the Better Government Association in 2022, Geoffrey served as Director...