Amendment 1 could lock in $1.8B commercial property tax hike
Statewide commercial property tax extensions are on pace to total $11.3 billion by 2026. Amendment 1’s expansion of government union power would likely accelerate that $1.8 billion increase.
It won’t just be households who pay higher property tax bills if voters OK Amendment 1: property taxes on commercial real estate have been increasing even faster.
If property tax increases continue at their recent rate, commercial property owners will shell out an additional $1.8 billion in annual property taxes by 2026, with the bulk of the increase – $1.6 billion – occurring in Cook County.
Statewide, commercial property tax extensions can be expected to hit a total of $11.3 billion during the next four years. The figure is estimated to be $7.9 billion in Cook County.
For individual commercial properties across Cook County, property tax hikes will vary widely by region. Commercial properties on the South Side of Chicago could pay an estimated additional $10,179 in property taxes by 2026. Properties in central Chicago could pay nearly $100,000 in higher property taxes during the next four years.
The increase in property taxes could wind up being much worse if Amendment 1 is passed on Nov. 8. The measure at the top of the ballot would allow government unions to make demands outside the normal scope of bargaining, strike if their demands are not met, thwart simple, pro-taxpayer reforms, crowd out government services for special interest causes and exacerbate corruption in Illinois.
Amendment 1 is a referendum on taxes in Illinois more than anything else. If property taxes simply continue to rise at their historical rates, businesses across the state will be asked to pay $1.8 billion in higher property taxes annually by 2026. Should government union bosses exercise new powers granted through Amendment 1, the tax hike on Illinoisans could wind up being far more costly.
That endless loop of unlimited union demands, higher government costs and rising taxes is likely why no other state has a similar amendment.
Illinois businesses already face challenges from a looming unemployment tax hike, property tax hikes, the nation’s third-highest number of regulations and the potential for a recession. Its business tax climate ranking dropped 10 places in five years as neighboring states rose or held steady. Amendment 1 could make a bad business climate worse.
The proposal threatens to hurt homeowners as well. Property taxes have been rising for decades in Illinois and without significant property tax or pension reform, property taxes can be expected to continue to rise. Currently, property taxes are on pace to rise by $2,149 for the typical homeowner during the next four years. Again, empowering government unions to make greater demands would likely accelerate those tax hikes.
Illinois voters have a decision to make before Nov. 8: either they can vote to fund the never-ending demands of government union bosses, or they can send a message by saying “no” to more tax increases in Illinois.