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*** UPDATED x1 *** Clarifying the clarification

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

* Last week

At a hastily arranged news conference at City Hall on Thursday, Emanuel was asked by a reporter if Chicago taxpayers, after seeing record property tax increases in the past couple of years, should prepare for more. “Yes,” the mayor said.

Afterward, mayoral spokesman Matt McGrath sought to clarify the mayor’s statement, saying that the “yes” response was an acknowledgment of the increased property tax burden already faced by city residents, not that they would face more.

“We are not announcing a tax increase today,” McGrath said. “He was not responding to that question.”

So, maybe Emanuel was actually responding to a different question and maybe he didn’t want to announce a tax hike that day, but a potential property tax hike was in the bill.

* Tribune

The compromise school funding bill the Illinois House approved Monday contains a provision to let the Chicago Board of Education raise property taxes by what Democrats estimated was an additional $120 million.

Cook County Clerk David Orr’s office, however, put that figure at closer to $163 million.

Among many other things, the 550-page bill would allow Chicago’s Board of Education to increase its maximum property tax rate for the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund by about 45 percent. That levy, first approved in late 2016, increased taxes by about $272 million this year.

Orr’s office said CPS could have raised property taxes for pensions even higher but did not do so. If the district went for the maximum amount allowed under the state legislation that’s expected to pass, CPS could collect $162.7 million in additional taxes in 2018, Orr’s office concluded. That would bring the total CPS tax levy for pension contributions to $434.5 million — and even that figure that could go higher if assessed property values go up.

…Adding… However

Chicago Ald. Pat O’Connor (40th) said the City Council would enact a tax hike only as a last resort, as city homeowners and businesses are “pretty much at critical mass” after being hit with $838 million in property-tax increases to cover city-related pension costs. “Good business would require you to look at all other options before you go further into debt. It’s a last-case scenario,” O’Connor said.

*** UPDATE ***  Tribune

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday defended the idea of another big boost in Chicago Public Schools property taxes that’s part of the compromise agreement on state school funding.

Under legislation that’s cleared the General Assembly, the Chicago Board of Education would be given the authority to increase its property tax levy by at least $120 million — and perhaps tens of millions of dollars more — to help cover growing contributions to the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund.

“I’ve never, ever said that we were not going to also come up with the resources to make sure our schools were well funded and we were investing in them. teachers,” Emanuel said of the tax increase provision he hinted at last week. “And we never wanted to be in a situation where it was a choice between continuing to invest in our children’s future or paying our teachers’ pensions. So we’ll be able to do our pensions and . . . continue to invest in our children.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

15 Comments
  1. - Ghost - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:09 am:

    on a side note, apparently chicago has many houses with multiple families; ie a 2 story house has 3 families in it, one on esch floor and one in basement, for example. the city gets property tax for a single swelling home, but the schools get 3 families worth of kids from the house.


  2. - Will Caskey - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:10 am:

    Ha, McGrath should get hazard pay for these walk backs. I mean there ARE going to be more property taxes. Between the city and CPS we’re still a good quarter billion from stability.


  3. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:13 am:

    Even if Chicago tax bills go up as high as allowed under the new law, I’ll bet collar county tax bills will still be a higher percentage of property value than those in Chicago.


  4. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:17 am:

    “We are not announcing property tax increases today”.
    Obvious follow up “Then what day will you announce it?”


  5. - Mr B. - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:18 am:

    Real estate taxes is a subject I know a lot about.
    Yep, the taxes are growing and most investors are factoring that into their equation. A larger concern should be lower middle income suburbs, with low tax bases. The commercial real estate there is being taxed into the ground. Deliquent tax auctions is a large growth area for Cook County


  6. - Will Caskey - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    When the dust clears, Chicago is going to wind up at about the median tax load relative to both income and property values.

    It could have been lower, and the price shock is going to accelerate the population shift towards younger/whiter/professional residents, which is pretty bad for the long term health of the city economy.

    But hey, at least everyone had fun for two decades while Daley ran the city into an unavoidable junk rating.


  7. - PhD - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    The taxes were too low to support the pension plan for more than a decade. Now it is time to pay the bill. Surprise, the delay makes the necessary tax increase even larger.


  8. - Will Caskey - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:30 am:

    If anything Emanuel messed up when he JUST closed 50 schools in his first term instead of that plus property tax hikes and revenue support for CPS.

    As it is he ran for re-election saying he’d been kind of a jerk but things would pick up in the second term, and they definitely have not and there are a bunch of tax increases anyway.


  9. - City Zen - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:37 am:

    ==It could have been lower, and the price shock is going to accelerate the population shift towards younger/whiter/professional residents, which is pretty bad for the long term health of the city economy.==

    Is it? Many of those younger/whiter/professional residents have no school-age children. They’re propping up the entire system.


  10. - cdog - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:38 am:

    Looking forward to the next union negotiations for city, county, and CPS.

    All those under-paid public servants, with the over $100k salaries and unlimited OT, will need raises, better benefits and retirements.

    Chicago, in true blue state spirit, will be glad to deliver higher taxes of all sorts to pay for the labor “collective” of which they’re so proud.


  11. - cdog - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:42 am:

    In the Democratic Party handout with a summary of the schools bill’s parameters, there is talk of “property tax swap” positioning and considerations,

    I have not seen any reporting on that and did not really understand what was being codified.


  12. - Will Caskey - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:59 am:

    City Zen: Yes that is correct…for now. The problem is professional class jobs are also the most geographically unstable. Google has a West Loop office this year; next year they might decide Urbana-Champaign is better for testing self-driving cars at UIUC. The next recession is going to be brutal on city population and its tax base. Like I said, long term it’s bad. Short term it’s great; no doubt mayoral donors love it.


  13. - walker - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:25 am:

    “Yes” was the truthful, simple answer.

    Sometimes the spokesperson should just do a “Huckabee” and say “That’s what he said. Next question.”


  14. - Louie Louie - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:54 am:

    I fear for the City of Chicago and the entire state. While having a budget in place and school funding resolved, the crisis is temporarily abated. But most of the increased revenues are not going to result in improved services, they are goung to address the ever growing pension obligations. Real Estate taxes are high relative to other states. Sales taxes are high relative to other states. And recently increased income taxes will need to be increased further to keep up with pension funding. It will be death by a thousand cuts. The exodus of residents that can leave will continue. As boomers continue to retire in large numbers, what percentage will leave. As telecommuting increases, what percentage will choose to move to another state. The past actions of our political leaders have put us in this position. Now we are simply rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, and the band plays on.


  15. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 1:50 pm:

    Finally a politician telling the truth.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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