Yesterday, the Chicago City Council voted in favor of a budget that will include a historic property tax hike of $589 million to fund the city's police and fire department pensions. And while we were warned about the looming property tax hike weeks ago, it seemed like there was a chance that the plan would face some stiff resistance. Instead, the budget passed in the city council yesterday in a 36-14 vote. But who will this record property tax increase really affect? In a geographic sense, the increase will spare much of the city's south and west sides. In fact, many homeowners throughout the south and west sides may actually have a lower property tax bill. However, some aldermen and activists have warned that the historic tax hike will hit renters the hardest.
Rents throughout downtown and the North Side have been steadily increasing, with rents for a new studio in a luxury tower breaking the $2,000/month mark. The home buying and rental markets in neighborhoods like the West Loop, South Loop, Wicker Park, Logan Square, Humboldt Park and even Avondale have been hotter than others, and the renters in these neighborhoods are the ones who should be most concerned about a possible increase in their rents. There have already been some neighborhood skirmishes in Logan Square, Humboldt Park and notably in Pilsen regarding runaway gentrification, and some activists say that the property tax increase will only exacerbate the effects.
So, would the property tax hike prevent potential homebuyers from buying in Chicago, or would it cause current homeowners to leave the city? In a poll taken in September, Curbed readers were largely split. Many said that property owners were already paying enough, while the majority said that they could stomach the budget plan and the tax increase that will come with it. A smaller number said that they were still unsure but were concerned.
The new property tax increase will be rolled out over four years, with the biggest increase hitting homeowners next year. For 2015, the city will seek $318 million, then $109 million in 2016, $53 million in 2017 and finally, $63 million in 2018.
And the list of the aldermen who voted no to the plan:
- Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd)
- Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th)
- Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th)
- Ald. Jason Irvin (28th)
- Ald. Chris Taliaferro (29th)
- Ald. Milly Santiago (31st)
- Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd)
- Ald. Deb Mell (33rd)
- Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th)
- Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th)
- Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41st)
- Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd)
- Ald. Harry Osterman (48th)
- Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th)
·Who Voted 'No' On Rahm's Property Tax Increase? The (Short) List [DNAinfo]
·Housing advocates warn property tax hike could speed gentrification [WBEZ]
·Map shows who's hit, spared in proposed Chicago property tax hike [Crain's]
·Morning Spin: Accusations of hypocrisy, jokes before record property tax hike approved [Tribune]
Previous property tax coverage [Curbed Chicago]