Chicago homeowners face an increase in property taxes this year, in part due to Chicago Public Schools' desperate financial situation, according to Cook County Clerk David Orr, who released information on tax rates Thursday.
The Chicago Tribune reports that property taxes will be about $90 more expensive for homeowners next year. This means that owners of homes with a market value of $199,000 will increase from $3,237 to $3,327.
The increase in property taxes is partially due to CPS' $634 million owed to the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund by June 30. The move, however, also comes at a time when the city of Chicago itself is struggling to stay afloat financially.
Raising property taxes is one way to help solve the city's immediate debt crisis. In a meeting Wednesday, City Council also approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel's request to borrow $1.1 billion, the largest amount of money the city has borrowed yet under the Emanuel administration.
The $1.1 billion will be used to pay off debts from the Daley administration as well as to pay for Emanuel's debt restructuring plan, police backpay and major court judgment. The loan, however, will only delay the paying of debts to a future date.
Property taxes will not just increase in the city of Chicago. Orr's office reports that rates will also increase in the north suburbs, from an average of $6,389 to $6,544, according to the Tribune. In the south suburbs, however, rates will actually decrease, from about $4,901 to $4,850.
The mayor first mentioned the prospect or raising property taxes last year, but he waited to take action until after the February election (and April runoff), when his seat and all 50 aldermanic seats were up for grabs.
Increases in property tax rates this year will appear on homeowners' bills beginning in 2016.