Are You Going To Get A Break On Illinois & Lake County Property Taxes?

More news on tax. Mayor Rahm Emanuel plotted a tax hike for property, but insiders are gossiping that if you’re a middle class owner, your burden may plummet.

It is the same old reason. Soaring pension payments and a chilling budget deficit caused the mayor, earlier this month, to jack property taxes to $450 million to cover unpaid liabilities for the police and firefighter pensions, plus $50 million for the Chicago Public Schools. The result: a proposed record-breaking $500 million property tax gift.

US Effective Tax Rates by Income

US Effective Tax Rates by Income

This is the highest yet since 1996. It is 50 percent more than we paid in property taxes five years ago. It raises our tax rate from $774.4 million in 2014 to $1.22 billion

Ironically – and of small consolation to Chicagoans – the mayor’s proposed composite property tax rate (which includes all government agencies, such as the county, schools and libraries) is still lower than all but five suburbs in Cook County. Barrington has the lowest rate followed by Inverness, Prospect Heights, Willow Springs and Winnetka. Downtown Chicago, actually, has the 15th-lowest tax rate in the county.

Nonetheless, builders and commercial property owners are loath to step where government takes. Fifield, chairman and CEO of Chicago-based Fifield Cos predicts a slowdown in new construction projects, particularly apartment buildings due to tax and related factors such as rising construction costs and climbing land prices.

All may not be as bad as thought for some of us. Greg Hinz, Crain’s Chicago Business commentator, ventured that the mayor in his alleged compassion and drive for votes is planning to absolve middle-class owners.

Writes Hinz:
City sources have repeatedly told me in recent months that some form of relief for at least some homeowners would be part of any major overall tax hike. Emanuel himself, in comments yesterday, strongly suggested that he’s getting ready to drop another shoe on the tax front.

“We will do (the tax hike) in a way consistent with our values of being fair and progressive,” Emanuel said. A moment later, he emphasized the point, repeating that the hike would be “fair and progressive” and predicting that he has the votes to get his $500 million plan through the City Council.

And Hinz concludes with the following update:
After days of asking, I was finally able to wiggle a statement out of the mayor’s press office…

From the statement: “The city must address the police and fire pension bill that has come due. Our north star will always be to ensure that seniors and those who can least afford it are held harmless, and that the central business district bears their share of the responsibility. We are looking at a number of avenues to achieve that goal.”

Article by: Leah Zitter, Writer