Rahm Emanuel

Major Property Tax Hike Looms Ahead of Mayor's 2016 Budget Address

Estimates for the proposed property tax hike currently sit between $450 million and $550 million

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is poised to propose a $543 million property tax hike in his budget address Tuesday.

As part of a plan to raise money for a pension payment for police and firefighters next year, Emanuel is expected to call for the largest property tax increase in modern Chicago history. The tax hike would be implemented year by year through 2018, going up by $318 million in 2015, $109 million in 2016, $53 million in 2017 and $63 million in 2018, according to the mayor's office. 

Any residents whose homes are valued at $250,000 or less would not pay any property tax increase.

In addition to the property tax hike, the budget proposal also includes a garbage collection tax of $9.50 per month per household and new fees for e-cigarettes that are meant to generate $1 million in revenue in 2016, according to the mayor's office. New rideshare and taxi fees are also included and are expected to create $60 million next year.

On Sunday, the mayor's office revealed the budget will also include a plan to reassign 319 police officers with desk jobs to the streets. The vacated desk jobs would be filled with civilians.

A preliminary budget released last month showed a gaping budget shortfall for 2016 that could grow to $754 million and beyond, which some say is enough to force Emanuel to raise property taxes.

In the weeks leading up to the budget proposal, Emanuel has heard ideas from aldermen and city residents about how to bring in more money. These ideas ranged from a proposed tax on sugary beverages to extending the cigarette tax to smokeless tobacco.

In late August and early September, Emanuel hosted three town hall meetings with residents to hear their budget ideas as well, but the mayor faced largely unfriendly crowds and even some protesters.

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