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Wednesday, Oct 28, 2015

* From the very end of today’s Sun-Times story on the Chicago City Council’s passage today of a $755 million hike in taxes and fees

There’s a 66 percent increase in Chicago booting fees along with the green light for City Hall to start using “self-release” Denver boots with a daily fine of $50 if the boot is not returned within seven days.

There’s also a fivefold increase in the maximum penalty seldom imposed against property owners who fail to remove snow and ice from the sidewalk adjacent to their buildings.

Motorists who drive without insurance will find themselves in violation of the city code, with fines ranging from $500 to $1,000 for the first and second offense to $1,000 for every subsequent offense.

For the first time, City Hall will require companies that “aggregate and sell” parking spaces, including those selling spaces through mobile apps, to collect the city’s parking tax, which stands at 22 percent on weekdays and 20 percent on weekends.

Yet another last-minute change would tie the annual permit for overweight trucks to the Consumer Price Index to “better account for the impact of large trucks on city streets.”

* Deep down in the NBC 5 story

In a last-ditch attempt to garner more support for the plan, Emanuel conceded a 2-cents-per-ride fee for ride-share services like Uber and Lyft to help traditional taxi drivers pay their registration fees on Monday. In exchange, the amendment gives ride-share drivers access to airports, but it requires them to register with the city and pay $5 each time they drop off or pick up someone from the airport.

* But the Tribune may have buried the most important detail

The vote came after some last-minute agreements between the mayor and council members, with Ald. Michele Smith, 43rd, securing consideration for a residential property tax rebate program should the mayor’s proposed homeowner’s exemption increase fail to get approved in Springfield. Emanuel had been reluctant to focus on any rebate option for fear it would diminish prospects for passage of his exemption plan in Springfield.

The rebate is the better way to go. Chicago doesn’t have to rely on Springfield, and if history is any guide most people won’t even ask for the give-back.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - The Dude Abides - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 2:21 pm:

    So if Chicago decides to go it alone instead of waiting for Springfield does that mean that the Governor loses leverage with Emanuel helping him with the turnaround agenda?

  2. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 2:30 pm:

    First - the picture of Rahmbo on the Trib’s link is awesome.

    Second - good on Alderman Smith for hedging her bets, being proactive and looking out for her constituents.

  3. - Amalia - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 2:36 pm:

    Ald Arena seems to have gotten something re additional revenue for 311 services and Ald Smith got the rebate clause. these aldermen took a smart route. others may have voted no or even yes, and gotten or contributed nothing.

  4. - After Further Review - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 2:49 pm:

    Not that I am generally advocate of higher taxes and fees, but Chicago really ought to impose a fine for property owners who fail to maintain their properties in terms of weed abatement. Other cities and villages have weed abatement ordinances that required owners to treat or cut down weeds. Those who don’t comply or fined or, alternatively, billed if the municipality has to cut down the weeds.

    As you drive through parts of Chicago there are many lots that are covered with weeds and overgrowth.

  5. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 2:59 pm:

    If only the people had voted for Rahm Emanuel, we wouldn’t be facing this Chuy Garcia tax hike! Oh, wait…

  6. - Tone - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 3:06 pm:

    Chuy would have instituted a city income tax, wanted to tax the cities financial exchanges, and any other ridiculous way to grab money from the taxpayers in order to feed his union overlords trough of outrageous benefits. A real estate tax hike is the least problematic of a lot of bad options.

  7. - nixit71 - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 3:33 pm:

    What’s the fine for failing to remove your folding chair from your recently shoveled-out parking spot on the street?

  8. - Just Me - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 3:47 pm:

    Nixit71: That made me giggle. Thanks.

  9. - Put the Fun in unfunded - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 4:00 pm:

    Increasing the homeowner exemption would mean that the same amount of tax would be collected, just spread around differently. Implementing a “rebate” means some of the tax increase is going to be given back. Won’t that reduce the total amount of net revenue?

  10. - Mouthy - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 4:28 pm:

    I’ll take good ole’ Springpatch any day…

  11. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 4:40 pm:

    === The rebate is the better way to go. Chicago doesn’t have to rely on Springfield, and if history is any guide most people won’t even ask for the give-back. ===

    You can be sure the Aldermen will be pushing the rebate as a means to curry favor with their constituents — the same way the Board of Review Commissioners push assessment appeals with their constituents.

  12. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 4:43 pm:

    I’m also not entirely sure a rebate scheme is legal. Exemptions are the prerogative of the state legislature, right? So, isn’t this a backhanded, run around the legislature? Perhaps a commercial property owner can sue on that notion. I don’t know if my argument has any merit, but I’m just throwing it out there.

  13. - Last Bull Moose - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 4:54 pm:

    Rahm will figure out that he cannot solve this problem withoother people’s money .
    Fortunately,Chicago is a wealthy city and pay its own way.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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