Proponents of the record property tax hike like to compare Chicago’s property tax rates to neighboring suburbs, but that doesn’t tell the whole story of Chicagoans’ tax burden.
CHICAGO (October 26, 2015) – Chicago aldermen plan to vote Wednesday on a proposal to raise city property taxes by more than $588 million annually. Proponents of the tax increase – the largest in Chicago’s recent history – say that Chicagoans can stomach the massive increase because they get a “bargain” on their property tax bill compared to suburban homeowners. But a new report released today by the nonpartisan Illinois Policy Institute dispels that myth, and shows how Chicagoans already pay the highest per capita bill on taxes and fees in the state of Illinois.
Proponents of the record property tax hike like to compare Chicago’s property tax rates to neighboring suburbs. But that doesn’t tell the whole story of Chicagoans’ tax burden; while the property tax rates are lower than in some suburbs, Chicagoans more than make up for it in other taxes and fees, according to the Institute’s report, “Fact Finder: Busting the myth that Chicago taxes are low.”
According to the report:
- Chicagoans pay more in taxes and fees, per person, than residents of any other major city in Illinois.
- Chicagoans currently pay about $1,600 annually in city taxes and fees. This is on top of township, county, state and federal taxes, and does not include taxes paid to Chicago Public Schools.
- Why are Chicagoans’ tax burdens so high? Because beyond the city’s property tax, Chicagoans face more than 30 additional taxes.
- The 30-plus taxes that Chicagoans face add up; in 2014, the city collected more than $1,280 per person in various non-property taxes and fees. That’s almost double what Evanston, the second-highest taxing city in Illinois, collected in non-property taxes and fees.
- City residents pay the 10th highest property tax of major U.S. cities.
- The city’s revenues have risen faster than inflation over the last 20 years.
- Even without raising taxes, Chicago government already collects more money, per person, than any other major Illinois city.
“The mayor and proponents of this massive property tax increase need to be honest with Chicagoans – and with themselves. First, their insistence that raising taxes is the only way to fix the city’s finances is wrong. Second, Chicagoans deserve the truth about their tax bill. To say Chicagoans are under-taxed is a myth,” said Ted Dabrowski, vice president of policy for the Illinois Policy Institute. “From sin taxes to red-light camera fines, Chicagoans are already burdened with more taxes than any other major city in the state.”
The full report on Chicago’s already high tax burden can be viewed here: https://www.
illinoispolicy.org/reports/ busting-the-myth-that-chicago- taxes-are-low-an-analysis-of- chicagos-taxation-and-revenue- in-perspective/
Media contact: Nathaniel Hamilton or Diana Rickert (312) 607-4977