Mr. Beef from ‘The Bear’ is a mansion, according to Chicago mayor’s tax plan
Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson wants voters to raise the city’s tax on million-dollar property sales, which would include any sale on a restaurant such as Mr. Beef, the inspiration for the hit show “The Bear.”
Chicagoans will vote in March 2024 to raise the tax for selling million-dollar properties, but that value doesn’t mean the sellers or buyers are millionaires.
For example, Mr. Beef was the inspiration for and is used in scenes from Hulu’s “The Bear.” The sandwich shop at 666 N. Orleans St. is appraised at $1,507,060 – making it a “mansion” in Mayor Brandon Johnson’s eyes. Mr. Beef is not for sale, but if it were then any sale would face higher taxes if Johnson’s “mansion tax” plan gets the OK from voters.
If the owners sold today, it would come with a 0.75% transfer tax, or $11,303 which is applied to all property sales in Chicago. Under Johnson’s plan, this hypothetical sale would see three tax rates applied – 0.6% to the first $1 million, 2% to the next $500,000 and 3% to any amount above $1.5 million. That would take the tax on a sale of Mr. Beef to $16,212.
That’s a $4,909 increase in taxes on a property sale. A new restauranter could use an extra $5,000, especially when small business success has been key to Illinois job growth.
Johnson has a sales job ahead if he wants what he’s dubbed his “mansion tax.” A new poll by the Illinois Policy Institute found 46% oppose it to 42% in favor when 800 Chicago voters were contacted Oct. 18-22.
In reality, there are few mansions sold in Chicago. Most sales above $1 million are commercial properties, by a 9 to 1 ratio when tracked April 2021 to April 2022. That means Johnson’s tax is another tax on commercial property in the city that charges the second-highest commercial property taxes in the nation.
In the show, the restaurant owners struggle to keep the business afloat with crime, inflation and unpaid taxes. The real owners have until Dec. 1 to pay their most recent property tax bill, $35,823, bringing their total billed amount to $77,493 for the year.
Mr. Beef’s business has doubled since the show aired, selling upwards of 800 sandwiches a day, but not every Chicago restaurant can get a boost from a hit TV show. Most just take the latest hit handed them by city politicians and hope to survive.