Emanuel comes out against proposed property transfer tax increases

Council proposals could cost thousands more on the sale of pricey homes, millions on the sale of big commercial properties

Chicago /
Nov.November 01, 2018 09:00 AM

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a real estate transfer tax stamp (Credit: Daniel X. O’Neil via Flickr and iStock)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday threw cold water on the growing number of proposals to increase the costs of buying and selling property in the city in order to address a variety of needs.

So far three different plans have been introduced in the City Council to raise the property transfer tax — one calling for a 160 percent hike — but Emanuel came out against them, saying homeowners are “not an ATM machine,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Emanuel, who as mayor led the Council in approving $2 billion in tax increases and higher water and sewer bills, said the city should “try everything else” before raising the transfer tax.

“I think that’s a mistake,” he said. “I think it will actually impact other things economically that affect the well being of the city.”

Aldermen recently have floated an increase in the tax on properties over $1 million to fight homelessness and another on properties over $750,000 to replace lead water pipes. Alderman Matt O’Shea (19th) on Wednesday introduced a proposal to hike the transaction tax by 27 percent for police and fire pensions.

While the number of luxury homes to change hands has been breaking records lately, the median sales price has been on the decline since 2015, a phenomenon some experts blamed in part on soaring taxes. [Chicago Sun-Times] — John O’Brien

 

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