Chicago Mayor Johnson’s real estate tax could hit more than 100 grocery stores

Chicago Mayor Johnson’s real estate tax could hit more than 100 grocery stores

“Bring Chicago Home” would classify more than 100 grocery stores as high-end properties that need to “pay their fair share” if sold. Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson’s rhetoric fails to match his tax hike’s realities.

Mayor Brandon Johnson and his “Bring Chicago Home” supporters would hike upfront costs for grocery stores around the city unless Chicago voters reject his transfer tax hike on the March 19 ballot.

Chicago has 316 properties categorized as supermarkets, according to Cook County Assessor data. Nearly 40%, or 124 of those properties would see a hiked transfer tax under the mayor’s tax hike ballot proposal.

One of those properties, Cermak Fresh Market, is family owned. If they wanted to open a new location at a similar property, their expansion would be penalized by the transfer tax hike.

5 local grocery stores Johnson’s tax hike would penalize:

  • Carniceria Jimenez ($2,006,072 value, $16,137 tax hike if sold).
  • Cermak Fresh Market ($5,108,576 value, $85,942 tax hike if sold).
  • Big Apple Finer Foods ($1,401,000 value, $3,512 tax hike if sold).
  • Super Mercados El Güero y México ($1,461,212 value, $4,265 tax hike if sold).
  • Food Market La Chiquita ($1,628,580 value, $7,643 tax hike if sold).

Bring Chicago Home advocates say these businesses are the type that “need to pay their fair share” and can afford higher transfer taxes.

But local grocery stores already have a tough time competing with massive chains. Raising taxes on mom-and-pop grocery stores would make it harder to fight food deserts, areas where residents don’t have access to fresh produce and must shop for food at gas stations or convenience stores.

Food insecurity disproportionately hits Chicago’s South. The solution to food insecurity is more neighborhood grocery stores, but they have a lower chance of survival if their upfront costs go up.

Johnson has proposed government grocery stores as a solution to food deserts, so why would he push a tax that could make them worse?

Early voting has already begun for the March 19 primary election. Click here to check your voter registration information.

Paid for by Vote No on Chicago Real Estate Tax.

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