* Property taxes aren’t based on an ability to pay, and folks have been attempting to make that tax more “progressive” for a very long time. Mayor Emanuel’s proposed property tax hike is a big step in that direction. From Greg Hinz…
At a council committee hearing this week, the mayor’s financial team released a revealing “fact sheet” on the pending tax/homestead plan that disclosed fascinating new details.
The most significant section, tucked into a paragraph in the middle of three charts on Page 2, says: “Homeowners living in homes valued at $250,000 or less will see little or no increase and most—nearly 290,000—will see a decrease in their overall bill.”
An accompanying chart spells that out. For instance, in the first year of the tax hike (the levy would be phased in after four years) the owner of a home worth $200,000 would see their tax bill drop to $3,054 a year from $3,260. Three years later—after the full hike is levied, and with the mayor’s proposed homestead break in effect—that owner still would be paying $65 a year less than now, assuming no other changes. […]
I can report that well over half of city taxpayers apparently would have their bill cut under the mayor’s plan, which is pending in Springfield. According to Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios’ office, 419,153 Chicago homeowners applied for the homestead exemption in the most recent tax year. Almost three-quarters of them—291,755 to be exact—had property worth less than $250,000.
Hinz is upset about this and I think he has a right to be. Everybody ought to have some skin in the game when solving this fiscal mess. That’s not to say that those at the bottom should pay the full freight, but shouldn’t they pay a little something something?