Marion Gipson

Marion Gipson

“The biggest thing bothering me on the business side is the city constantly increasing business taxes. Most of our costs are fixed besides the rent, which will increase at the end of our agreement. And taxes never seem to stop rising.”

“I am originally from Texas. I moved to Chicago about two years ago and have lived here since.”

“Fitness and nutrition have always been a struggle in my own personal life. Going through the stressors of climbing the corporate ladder, I found that fitness and consistently taking care of my body and well-being was a true factor of success in life.”

“Coming from Texas, obviously real estate here is more expensive. I chose to buy my home when I came here because for a three-bedroom house my mortgage is $3,000 a month, but a two-bedroom apartment is $4,000 or more.”

“There’s a significant gap in what you can pay a month for a mortgage versus the purchase price. That gap was much smaller in Texas. You do make more money here, but it’s not thousands of dollars difference to cover your cost of living.”

“So my property tax has actually increased through my escrow account, which they’re asking for. Because of that I’ve had to cut costs in other areas so less traveling, not eating out as much. Any more increases to property taxes and I’ll seriously consider talking to a realtor about moving.”

“I also know they’re trying to rezone near my house for more residential complexes that will definitely lead to increased property taxes.”

“Both Marcus and I like our respective homes now, but it doesn’t make sense to give the state as much as my mortgage in taxes, especially when we have little transparency. There’s been too many instances of politicians in court. Meanwhile, the city is jabbing the community with tickets.”

“I was ticketed a few times last year. They rack up all of these unless you’re checking your license plate online. I only knew because I happened to check one day and I had like $400 worth of tickets, both of them on automatic payment plans.”

“And then I came to find out last week that they removed them because of lack of payment, so that tripled what I owed. They didn’t send me anything. They didn’t take my phone calls. It’s ridiculous, I think the system of tickets is a scheme in my opinion.”

“We’ve each paid more at our homes, but it hasn’t hit our gym yet. One thing that’s not as consistent as I’d like is the turnover. It’s been much harder keeping people long term.”

“One thing I noticed is that the street parking prices have gone up and the parking lots, their property tax has gone up significantly. Which impacts our customers, because now they have to pay a higher rate to be able to park at the gym.

“That has been a concern from customers and the fact that they have to pay for parking and it continues to go up. So we have no control over it. Tickets and fines drive people away from our neighborhood.”

“Sometimes I think about how many more customers we’d have if the city wasn’t so overbearing about tickets and taxes.”

Marion Gipson
Founder, Urban Grind Fitness
Chicago, Illinois

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