Property Tax Hike Approved

August 25, 2011

Chicago real estate owners: Your property taxes are going up.

On Wednesday, the Chicago Board of Education unanimously approved a budget for 2012 that includes a 2.4-percent property tax increase for Chicago homeowners.

row of Chicago homes

Property tax increases are coming to Chicago homeowners.

That is the largest increase allowed by Illinois law. It means that a Chicago homeowner with a $250,000 home would pay about $84 more in property taxes a year.

The Chicago Public Schools’ governing board, which faces a budget deficit of more than $712 million next year, approved a $5.9 billion budget for the third largest school district in the country.

How the board is going to close the budget gap:

*$153 million will come from Chicago homeowners via the property tax increase.

*$400 million in cuts will be made, including administrative layoffs.

*$100 million will be saved by eliminating 4 percent raises to seven unions.

*$134 million will come by reorganizing and creating more efficient operations.

*$86 million will be raised by reducing programs.

*$241 million will come from the district’s reserve fund.

Knowing full well that a majority of Chicago’s residents are struggling already in this tough economy, many Chicago alderman oppose the property tax hike. But they don’t have much choice.

By Illinois law, the Chicago City Council must approve the property tax increase approved by the school board. Their only recourse would be to challenge the law that forces them to pass the tax hike as unconstitutional, though a move like that is unlikely.

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