Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Tax Increase Passes City Council Today

graphic courtesy of WTTW/Chicago Tonight
As you've probably heard, the largest tax increase in Chicago's history was approved by the City Council today.  Ald. Osterman voted against it. Alds. Pawar and Cappleman voted for it.

Ald. Osterman appeared on Chicago Tonight as part of a panel moderated by Carol Marin to explain his vote. Video of the discussion is available here.

As soon as Uptown's three aldermen release statements about their votes, we'll post them.

The big question is, how will it affect you?  Reboot Illinois has an article breaking it down. Oddly, the biggest increase they focus on is for electronic cigarettes. They also show sugary drinks, two Uber rides a week, and garbage pick-up, which is not applicable for buildings of four units or more because they already pay for private scavenger service.
"For a house that is worth about $250,000, annual property taxes are expected to increase by about $500. (According to Investopedia, houses currently on the market in Chicago have a median price of about $200,00).

For homes that currently receive free garbage pick-up, a fee of $9.50 per month, which would be added to water bills, could be implemented.

And while it seems those two charges might mostly affect property owners in the city, it’s likely many landlords will pass the increases on to tenants through rent increases."
UU Note:  Ald. Tunney (44th Ward) isn't an Uptown alderman, but in his statement regarding his yes vote, he mentions increasing the police presence in the 19th District, which includes Uptown south of Lawrence Avenue.
"I have been assured that 35 additional police officers will be assigned to the 19th District in 2016, including 25 in the first quarter and another ten during the rest of the year.  This is in addition to the eight officers that will be transferring to the 19th District in November.
[...] The final reason I voted yes today was because there is no doubt that the men and women of the Chicago Police and Chicago Fire departments are our "Finest" and "Bravest" citizens. Our city could not survive without them. The fact is that as their employer, the City of Chicago made contractual obligations to them with regard to their pensions that must be met, and this budget does that.  It is unfortunate that the funding levels were allowed to dip so low and huge lump sum payments need to be made. That is not the fault of our hard working police officers and firefighters who have contributed their share all along, but that was the reality with which the City Council had to deal today."  Ald. Tunney's entire statement is here.


  1. Tribune published this property tax hit calculator earlier in the month. Plug in squirrels power abacus....

    YIKES! Oh well I knew this was coming so I saved the link.

    This should have been done years ago and while doing it now is better than waiting it still sucks and blows. Chicago and various local governments need to get our "credit rating" up immediately and reduce the interest we're paying on various bonds. We need legalized gambling immediately to bring in some serious tax revenue.

    Various inspectors generals need to be empowered to investigate and reduce graft, waste and corruption. Rahm is responsible for hiring Barbara Byrd Bennett and that cost schools 20 million or more in corrupt contracts. Bring in some humorless retired Federal prosecutors or FBI agents to work as inspectors generals.

    Ameya Pawar speaks eloquently about the need for a K-12 NEIGHBORHOOD CPS school system so people don't move to the burbs. That costs money one way or another. Pay for it directly through taxes or indirectly through lower property values, lower population and flight to the suburbs.

    We need to make it easier for businesses to open and stay open. Less paperwork and "expediter" fees. Making CTA travel better and swifter will help keep people and bring people in.

    Oh and so much more.

  2. I'm not buying it. I do NOT believe our elected representation sufficiently looked at other alternatives to a property tax increase. They will say it was necessary, there was no other way to cut expenses further without affecting safety. But as the Pirate pointed out, $20 million in corrupt contracts means we don't know what the hell we are buying. So if we don't know how and on what we are spending our money, how can anyone assert they've looked at every possible savings? I'm not buying it anymore. In the next election, I will not vote or advocate for the re-election of any official who voted for this budget. I strongly urge you to do the same.