This morning, Mayor Rahm Emanuel the city's budget for next year which calls for a major increase in property taxes and new taxes on industries like ride-sharing and e-cigarette sales. The plan will increase Chicago property taxes by $543 million, with another $45 million coming from school taxes. The property tax hike won't hit homeowners all at once, although next year's property taxes are expected to jump by $318 million. The historic hike will be phased in over four years, and the majority of the money raised will go towards the underfunded pensions of city firemen and police officers. The $45 million raised from the school tax will be used to build new schools.
Chicago has witnessed notable economic gains in recent years, from new construction to the record number of tourists who have been traveling to the Windy City, but borrowing still remains a big issue. In an earlier statement, Mayor Emanuel acknowledged that the city's financial situation has become a major blemish on Chicago's reputation and its ability to truly thrive. "As we continue to grow our economy, create jobs and attract families and businesses to Chicago, our fiscal challenges are blocking our path to even greater success," the mayor stated.
When asked about the situation, Curbed readers were split on the issue. The majority of those polled believed that the property tax hike was overdue and just simply a tough decision that has to be made. However, many also believe that city residents are already paying enough taxes and shouldn't be held accountable for the city's inability to balance the budget. Another group of readers were still unsure on how to feel about the situation, but are concerned. The mayor says that a balanced budget is needed to help push Chicago into a better place, but could the property tax hike prevent people from buying in Chicago? There were a number of responses to this question, with mixed responses.
·Mayor Emanuel Presents 2016 Budget to Chicago City Council [ABC 7]
·Emanuel seeking $588M property tax hike, more fees to chart 'new course' [Tribune]
·Welp, Here Comes That Big Property Tax Hike You Were Probably Expecting [Curbed Chicago]
·Poll: Would a $500M Property Tax Hike Affect Your Decision to Buy in Chicago? [Curbed Chicago]