Archive for the ‘Preckwinkle’s Rules of Order’ Category

mansion tax

After the City Council’s recent approval of Mayor Brandon Johnson’s proposal to increase the transfer tax on the sale of high-end properties, Block 37, shown in 2018, the vertical mall on State Street, went up for sale along with two other high-profile Chicago properties. Voters will weigh in on the tax proposal in March. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

By The Editorial Board | Chicago Tribune

It’s been a slow year for big real estate deals in Chicago.

Small wonder. Worries about the future of downtown, combined with the 18-month spike in interest rates, would give most owners of office buildings and even high-rise apartments pause about testing the market now for their properties.

So it’s interesting — to say the least — that in just the past few days the owners of three high-profile Chicago properties have put them on the block. These are the retail portion of Block 37, the vertical mall on State Street; the 76-story NEMA Chicago apartment tower on Roosevelt Road; and one of the biggest apartment complexes in Chicago, the Pavilion Apartments near O’Hare Airport.

It’s not that the economic future of downtown Chicago is any clearer now than it was a week ago.

The major event affecting these property owners in that time span was the City Council’s Nov. 7 approval of Mayor Brandon Johnson’s proposal to quadruple the transfer tax on the sale of properties like these. The tax hike will be put to Chicago voters in March, and if approved, likely will take effect at the beginning of 2025.

Is it a coincidence that these properties are for sale just as their owners face the likelihood of millions more in taxes if they wait? Maybe. But we doubt it.

Read more here.

Related:Chicago City Council puts ‘Mansion Tax’ on the March 2024 ballot

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Brandon Johnson

The Chicago City Council is asking voters on the March 2024 ballot to approve or reject a tax increase on the sale of $1 million properties. The move will mainly hit commercial properties, adding to Chicago’s anti-business reputation.

By Dylan Sharkey | Illinois Policy

Chicago voters will decide the fate of Mayor Brandon Johnson’s proposal to raise the real estate transfer tax on million-dollar properties. The Chicago City Council approved the referendum 32-17, and voters will have final say in March.

Currently, all Chicago real estate sales are taxed at 0.75%. The proposal would create a tiered structure based on the value of the property being sold.

What the plan does to the real-estate transfer tax

  • Lowers it to 0.60% for properties worth less than $1 million.
  • Raises it to 2% for properties worth $1 million-$1.5 million.
  • Raises it to 3% if worth more than $1.5 million.

Those in favor of the plan argue the new revenue generated from the increase will help combat homelessness with investments in affordable housing projects, which are exempt from the tax.

Opponents argue the new structure would force landlords to raise rents on tenants to cover the costs and harm the real estate markets’ post-pandemic rebound. While Johnson dubbed it a “mansion tax,” the reality is $1-million-plus commercial properties sell far more often than residential properties: 9 to 1 from April 2021 to April 2022.

Johnson’s plan has also been criticized for failing to detail how the money will be used to impact homelessness.

If approved, it would not take effect immediately. Voters would simply give the City Council permission to enact the plan, potentially in 2025.

Read more here.

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220 Auditorium

“At the Nov. 7 Board meeting, the Board continued its discussion about possibilities for new fine, visual, and performing arts spaces at Barrington High School. The design work for these new spaces was an identified project within the $147 million dollar referendum that Barrington area voters approved in 2020. The cost to build these new spaces was not included in the referendum.

The Board is planning to form a referendum advisory committee in order to gain feedback from the community about projects that should be included on a potential referendum question during the 2024-25 school year. The committee will meet during the second half of this school year. More information will be provided after the Board finalizes the committee’s charge at its next meeting on Nov. 21.

Related: District 220 Board plans to seek community feedback about new fine, visual & performing arts spaces at BHS

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Florida Sign

State-to-state migration estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau showed Illinois lost residents to 36 states and Washington, D.C. Nearly all the former Illinoisans moved to lower-tax states.

By Bryce Hill | Illinois Policy

New Census Bureau data confirms Illinois’ massive tax burden is driving away residents: 97% of the nearly 116,000 residents who left Illinois last year went to states with lower taxes.

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released new state-to-state migration data showing where Illinoisans moved during 2022 as part of the American Community Survey. The estimates show 115,719 Illinoisans left the state on net and Illinois lost residents to 36 states and Washington, D.C.

IL Migtation

Illinois lost the most residents to Florida (21,184); Indiana (17,223); Wisconsin (14,605); Iowa (7,972); Texas (5,323); Arizona (5,246); and Tennessee (5,182).

More broadly speaking, Illinois is losing virtually all of its net migrants to lower-tax states. Of the nearly 116,000 residents who left on net, more than 97% (112,748) went to states with state and local tax burdens lower than Illinois’, while less than 3% (2,971) went to states with higher tax burdens.

IL Trend

These results are further evidence of what Illinoisans routinely tell pollsters: high taxes are the No. 1 reason why Illinoisans consider leaving the state. Polling from NPR Illinois and the University of Illinois found 61% of Illinoisans thought about moving out of state in 2019, and the No. 1 reason was taxes. The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute found 47% of Illinoisans want to leave the state, and “taxes are the single biggest reason people want to leave” with 27% of respondents citing taxes as the motive for departing in 2016. More recent polling conducted by Echelon Insights in 2023 substantiate these sentiments.

Read more here.

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By A.D. Quig | Chicago Tribune

After months of delay, nearly 1.8 million property tax bills for Cook County home and business owners are landing in mailboxes this week, and many homeowners in the north and northwest suburbs are in for jarring news.

new analysis from county Treasurer Maria Pappas’ research team found the median residential tax bill there increased by 15.7%, according to the report, “the largest percentage increase in the last 30 years.”

Residential properties in that part of the county are shouldering a greater share of the tax burden thanks to what one analyst termed a “perfect storm.”

Across all of Cook County’s 1.8 million parcels, taxes for 1.3 million homeowners and 94,000 commercial property owners went up, according to the report.

In the south suburbs, the median residential bill increased by 3.9% and the median commercial bill — for properties like offices, stores, warehouses and large apartment buildings — went up by 2%. In Chicago, the median homeowner’s bill went up 3%, while the commercial median bill rose only slightly more, 3.1%.

In all, property taxes across Cook County rose more than $909 million, to $17.6 billion, according to the analysis. That’s 5.4% higher than last year, but below the 8% rate of inflation for 2022.

Read more here.

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Spring Creek

Volunteers at Spring Creek Forest Preserve

By A.D. Quig | Chicago Tribune

Flush with money after voters authorized a fresh property tax hike, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle pitched next year’s Forest Preserves budget Tuesday as the start of “a new era.”

“For the first time in a long time, it is not the budget of an agency in a holding pattern, keeping long-term, pressing needs at bay,” Preckwinkle said Tuesday. “For fiscal year 2024, we are moving forward, and there is only more on the horizon for the residents and visitors of Cook County.”

Three years ago, Preckwinkle pitched a pandemic austerity budget that tapped into the forest preserves’ rainy day fund. Then-Commissioner Larry Suffredin highlighted the district’s “precarious” financial state and warned officials may have to sell off land owned by the forest preserve district to stay afloat

In the summer of 2021, Preckwinkle and the district board — whose members are the same as the Cook County Board — paved the way for county voters to say “yes” or “no” to a property tax hike that would raise money to help maintain the 70,000 acres of green lands, trails and water.

Last November, after a concerted campaign by preserves boosters, voters overwhelmingly authorized a 0.025% increase in the preserves’ property tax levy, raising an additional $40 million that officials said they would be spent on maintenance at facilities such as the Chicago Botanic Garden and Brookfield Zoo, land restoration and pension payments.

The 2024 budget is the second year with extra funding in place. This year’s budget was amended after voters approved the referendum. On Tuesday, Preckwinkle proposed an $188.7 million budget for the district in 2024, an increase of 34% from this year’s pre-referendum proposal.

Read more here.

Related:Barrington Hills Park District soliciting recommendations regarding, ‘Future development of Horizon Farm and Spring Creek’

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The Chicago skyline seen from over Lake Michigan on Sept. 14, 2023. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune)

By Robert McCoppin | Chicago Tribune

Illinois is becoming less rural, more educated, more foreign-born, and higher-paid, according to a new analysis of migration patterns.

A net loss of 460,000 residents moving to other states was largely offset by incoming immigrants, researchers found. In addition, more arrivals are working, generating about 200,000 more workers paying income taxes over the past decade.

Contrary to concerns about an exodus of residents due to high taxes, crime and other factors, researchers report that the state has made noticeable gains in certain areas.

“Reports of Illinois’ population decline have been greatly exaggerated,” researcher Frank Manzo IV told the Tribune. “… Data show the Illinois population has been stable, with the Chicago area adding residents and taxpayers.”

The analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Illinois Department of Revenue was conducted by researchers at the Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Preliminary census estimates had shown greater population losses, but the official census count in 2020 showed that Illinois had 12.8 million residents, a slight decline of about 18,000 over the previous decade. A Census Bureau review subsequently estimated that the state population was likely undercounted by 2%, meaning that the state actually had around 13 million residents.

Read more here.

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Union President Stacy Davis Gates

Chicago Teachers Union President Stacy Davis Gates PHOTO: SCOTT HEINS/GETTY IMAGES

Chicago Teachers Union President Stacy Davis Gates has called school choice racist and made it her mission to kill an Illinois scholarship program for low-income children. So how did Ms. Gates try to explain herself this week after press reports that she has enrolled her son in a private Catholic high school?

“Dear Union Sibling,” began her email to fellow teachers. She said that black students have “limited” options on the city’s south and west sides: “It forced us to send our son, after years of attending a public school, to a private high school so he could live out his dream of being a soccer player while also having a curriculum that can meet his social and emotional needs.”

Ms. Gates’s desire to do what’s best for her child is laudable. What’s not is to do that while denying other families the same choice. The school where her son is enrolled reportedly costs her $16,000 a year. What about those who can’t afford such a school? Illinois’s Invest in Kids program funds about 9,000 scholarships, and last year it had 31,000 applications. But the program is scheduled to sunset, and that’s exactly what the teachers unions have demanded.

“Here is the truth: If you are a Black family living in a Black community, high-quality neighborhood schools have been the dream, not the reality,” Ms. Gates’s email says. There’s no arguing about that. For some schools on the south side, the percentage of students who can read or do math at grade level is in the single digits. But then she insists, as the teachers unions always do, that the answer is spending yet more money to “undo the decades of systemic underinvestment.”

More here.

Related: “The Chicago Way: CTU President reportedly puts her child in private school but opposes choice for others

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Chicago Teachers Strike

Chicago Teachers Union President Stacy Davis Gates has been vehemently opposed to school choice, calling it ‘racist.’ But she reportedly put one of her own children in private school. Choice for me, but not for thee?

Chicago Teachers Union President Stacy Davis Gates vehemently opposes school choice, but she reportedly now sends one of her three children to a private high school in Chicago.

She and the CTU have been actively working to kill Illinois’ only school choice program, the Invest in Kids tax credit scholarship program. While Davis Gates apparently can choose an alternative to failing Chicago Public Schools for her child, she is actively working to kill that choice for low-income families: Invest in Kids expires at the end of 2023.

Davis Gates previously stressed to Chicago Magazine the importance of someone in her role sending her kids to public school.

“I can’t advocate on behalf of public education and the children of this city and educators in this city without it taking root in my own household,” Davis Gates said.

She also said, “School choice was actually the choice of racists. It was created to avoid integrating schools with Black children.”

Davis Gates’ child is listed on a private school athletic roster. She follows him on social media. The school’s principal declined comment and Davis Gates did not respond to media requests for comment.

More here.

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VBH Water

While most Cook County residents have seen property taxes rise, the suburbs saw the biggest hikes during the past 20 years. Chicago homeowners and business owners are feeling less tax pain than their suburban peers.

Property taxes are on the rise in most of Cook County.

The suburbs have it worse than the city, based on 2022 data released by the Cook County Treasurer.

The residential property owners hit hardest were in the south and southwest suburbs, where the average bill went up 127% to $4,917 from $2,170 in 20 years. Businesses owners in the north and northwest suburbs saw 134% property tax hikes, to $28,710 from $12,282. Commercial property tax hikes in the south and southwest suburbs were not far behind.

Tax bills were supposed to come due Aug. 1, 2023, but were just pushed back to Dec. 1. While those bills have grown significantly over 20 years, the changes have been uneven.

CC Prop Taxes

While Chicago has the second-highest commercial property taxes among large American cities, commercial property owners in the suburbs have seen their taxes rise more than double.

Read more here.

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