Chicago taxpayers are abused by the City's elected officials. No one stands up for taxpayers. Let's change that. Join the Union - Chicago Chapter.
Chicago property taxes have increased by 115% since 2000. In the same period, inflation increased by only 31%. Why are property taxes increasing at more than 3 x the rate of inflation?
Despite the increased taxes - the city is still broke. It is effectively insolvent with debt that is 4 x its assets.
City officials cannot blame this on the pandemic. Chicago was in dire financial condition well before the pandemic. Mayor Lightfoot has done nothing to turn this sinking ship around - in fact, she has made it worse.
The core problem is governance. the City's corrupt leadership cannot stop spending taxpayer money. There is no fiscal discipline and therefore no financial stability.
The problem is compounded by the loss of taxpayers who flee the City at alarming rates. When taxpayers leave - it means big trouble. Cities die when they start a death spiral. It's because the City has to raise taxes to make up for the loss of tax revenue due to taxpayers leaving. As a result of higher taxes, more taxpayers leave. Then the city has to raise taxes again. And this vicious cycle goes on until nearly all taxpayers are gone and the City is dead. This is what happened to Detroit.
Mayor Lightfoot's plan is to get bailed out by the Pelosi and the Biden administration. Essentially transfer the City debt to national taxpayers. But Republicans in the Senate will surely block any such bailout. Mayor Lightfoot is living a fantasy and fooling all the people of Chicago.
Chicago property taxes for most residents have nearly doubled in the last 10 years - roughly 90% increase on average - despite inflation of less than 25% in the same period. This is almost 4 x the rate of inflation. Experts say Chicago property owners pay the second highest property tax rates in the nation. Mayor Lightfoot is trying to impose an automatic property tax increase - a structure which the Union of Taxpayers considers to be unfair and unconstitutional.
Chicago sales tax is one of the three highest in the nation at 10.25% (the rate of combined city and state sales taxes within the city limits.) Mayor Lightfoot wants to increase the City's gas tax by 3 cents per gallon.
Chicago is now planning to impose a new income tax. Essentially this is taxpayers bailing out the City. Since the City has proven it has no financial discipline or accountability - taxpayers have no doubt that revenue from any new income tax will be quickly wasted and another financial crisis will develop. Taxpayer Refuse to agree to a new income tax without having a voice in the way that money is spent. It's important to note that voters in the state of Illinois rejected a ballot initiative for a graduated income tax which would have increased the overall tax collected by the state by $4 billion with no accountability to taxpayers. This proves that taxpayers do not want to give wasteful governments a blank check anymore.
The only solution is to restore financial stability by changing the City Charter to include a Taxpayer Oversight Board (a "TOB"). Taxpayers must have a voice in how the funds they provide are used.
See this Chicago Tribune Article "Lightfoot Doubles Down on Property Tax Increase"
See this Chicago Tribune Editorial "Not Enough Taxpayers To Pay For All This"
See this Chicago Sun-Times Op-Ed: "Chicago at Crossroads"
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