Chicago’s $23 million property tax hike pushed back

Lori Lightfoot, Mayor of Chicago (Getty Images, iStock)

Chicago homeowners are about to shell out more for property taxes.

A mixed city council vote approved Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s $16.7 billion budget, including a $23 million property tax hike, according to the Chicago Tribune. The automatic increase is based on the national inflation rate instead of a local rate which some economists say makes more sense.

The budget passed today with 35 out of 50 votes. The higher levies are part of a $76.5 million property tax package, including $25 million to repay infrastructure loans and 28, $6 million to appraise new properties.

Owners of a $250,000 home can expect an increase in their tax bills of about $37 next year. Of this amount, about $18 will be tied to the national consumer price index – higher than the $12 that would have been obtained using a local index. Nationally, prices are up 5.4%, more than the 4.5% in Chicago.

The city’s finance department said the city wanted to synchronize its inflation rate with how the
The Chicago Park District and the public school system explain the rise in consumer prices.

It’s reasonable for the city to use the national rate because Chicago is an international city, said Brad Cole, executive director of the Illinois Municipal League.

Still, some economists have said the city should use an index that better represents the changing cost of living because Chicago is a self-governing district. Inflation is lagging locally because rent costs and house prices are rising faster in other cities, said Phillip Braun, a professor at Northwestern University’s business school.

[Chicago Tribune]

Penny D. Jackson