Lightfoot says property tax hike back on table: Blame Covid

The mayor said Chicago tallied $175M in lost revenue in March and April from shuttered businesses

Chicago /
Jun.June 10, 2020 10:07 AM
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city may have to raise property taxes to make up for some of the economic losses it sustained from the coronavirus closures

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city may have to raise property taxes to make up for some of the economic losses it sustained from the coronavirus closures

The pandemic’s economic punch in the gut to Chicago has pushed the budget shortfall to at least $700 million, with the threat of another property tax hike back on the table.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot detailed the dire news, saying the coronavirus lockdown upended the budget and accounted for $175 million in lost revenue in March and April, the Chicago Tribune reported. City taxes collected from affected businesses plummeted, including in the retail, hotel and restaurant industries, according to the report.

The city reopened retail shops and restaurants last week, despite damage to numerous small businesses from looting and vandalism that broke out during the recent protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Lightfoot brought up the potential for the property tax hikes — along with layoffs to city employees — to help make up for the expected lost revenue to the city’s $11.6 billion overall budget, according to the report. But she added the moves would be a last resort.

“Our businesses have been suffering and many of our small businesses, unfortunately, have been forced to close,” she said, according to the Tribune. The 2021 budget shortfall could end up exceeding $1 billion, city officials said.

For the 2020 budget, the mayor plugged a $838 million budget deficit she inherited in part with a $65 million property tax increase. That included a tax of $15 million for new construction projects. Lightfoot’s original plan for a real estate transfer tax was scuttled. [Tribune] — Alexi Friedman 


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Chicago this week raised indoor dining to 40% of a venue's capacity. (iStock)
Filling up: Chicago boosts indoor dining capacity
Filling up: Chicago boosts indoor dining capacity
(iStock, Wikipedia Commons/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)
Chicago’s agent count jumps as home sales rise
Chicago’s agent count jumps as home sales rise
Mayor Lori Lightfoot allows indoor dining. (Getty)
Come on in: Chicago reopens — limited — indoor dining
Come on in: Chicago reopens — limited — indoor dining
Akara Partners CEO Rajen Shastri, top right; Hersha Hospitality CEO Naveen Kakarla; and Home2 Suites on Huron Street. (Akara, Hersha, Hilton)
Akara Partners gets new investor for struggling extended-stay hotel
Akara Partners gets new investor for struggling extended-stay hotel
Photo illustration of Alderman Gilbert Villegas with the Trump International Hotel & Tower. (Getty, Trump Hotels, Gilbert for Chicago)
What’s in a name? If it’s Trump, alderman wants it gone
What’s in a name? If it’s Trump, alderman wants it gone
Gap CEO Sonya Syngal, Brookfield Property Partners CEO Brian Kingston and Water Tower Place (Getty; Google Maps)
Gap will exit Brookfield’s Water Tower Place, joining Macy’s
Gap will exit Brookfield’s Water Tower Place, joining Macy’s
Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette and the Water Tower location. (Getty, Google Maps)
Mag Mile Macy’s closes as retailer shifts to smaller stores
Mag Mile Macy’s closes as retailer shifts to smaller stores
A proposal to create a new taxing district along the Magnificent Mile has failed to advance in City Council (The Magnificent Mile)
Mag Mile tax fails to advance in City Council
Mag Mile tax fails to advance in City Council
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...