The Chicago Association of REALTORS® (CAR) opposed the FY’21 budget which included an increase to fees, fines, the gasoline tax and most importantly, a property tax increase. The property tax increase is now pegged to the Consumer Price Index, so going forward, when inflation occurs, taxpayers will see an automatic property tax increase (the automatic increase is capped at 5%).
According to the city’s Budget Office the property tax increase means an increase of $56 and $120 for an average home worth $250,000 and $500,000, respectively. Commercial real estate will see an increase of approximately 1.3%.
CAR Director of Government Affairs, Kristopher J. Anderson gave an emphatic plea during public comments on November 16th, discussing the skyrocketing rate at which taxes are increasing, “… [citing a report commissioned and recently released by Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas] 20- year Property Tax History Report, from 2006 to 2019 Chicago Property Tax Levy has seen a 125% increase. Then layer on the Chicago Board of Education that unit of government saw a 62% increase in the same period of time.” He later said “The averaged inflation rate of the United States of America from the year 2010 to now has been less than 3% every year, if the cost of goods and services is rising by a small amount why is the cost of government rising by such a staggering amount?”
Despite vigorous lobbying the measures passed by the slimmest of margins. 26 votes are needed to pass any legislation in the Chicago City Council and the Mayor has the ability to cast a tie breaking vote. The property tax increase passed 28-22 and the budget passed 29-21. We thank courageous REALTOR® champions, Aldermen: Brian Hopkins (2nd), Anthony Beale (9th), Patrick Daley Thompson (11th), Raymond Lopez (15th), Anthony Napolitano (41st), Brendan Reilly (42nd), Tom Tunney (44th) and Jim Gardiner (45th) for their no votes. Alderman Beale during floor debate and discussion stated, “this is scoop and toss on steroids, we are borrowing and refinancing $1.7bn” he later said “we are becoming Detroit.” Also during floor debate Alderman Hopkins said, “I can’t accept we are going to raise property taxes next year and the year after that, because I know it doesn’t have to be that way.”
The Illinois REALTORS® also opposed this measure calling it, “the wrong tax at the wrong time.”
The REALTORS® were the most vocal and ardent detractors in the real estate industry lobbying against this budget and the property tax increase within.