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BOMA/Chicago Opposes Transfer Tax Increase 

In Illinois, real estate transfer taxes are imposed by the state, county and sometimes the municipality (as is the case in Chicago) when real estate is transferred within the jurisdiction.

A group called Bring Chicago Home has been advocating for a steep increase in Chicago’s transfer tax to fund homeless programs. The resolution that was introduced in City Council would add a referendum to the election ballot asking voters if transfer taxes should be increased for property sales of $1 million or more. The proposal would increase the City’s transfer tax rate from 1.2% to 3.1%, nearly tripling the rate from $5.25 to $14.75 per every $500 of value.

While BOMA/Chicago shares an interest in providing resources and housing for the homeless, we oppose an increase in transfer taxes for the following reasons:

  • Current real estate transfer taxes are already excessive
  • Transfer taxes are an unreliable source of revenue
  • Downtown is already reeling from a sluggish return to office and record high vacancy
  • Transfer tax increase would hinder real estate development

BOMA/Chicago has actively engaged with the Mayor’s Office and City Council to raise awareness about our concerns and the negative ramifications of a transfer tax increase. We have also partnered with other like-minded organizations to oppose this measure. While we have been successful in avoiding a referendum being added to the November election ballot, we expect this issue will continue to be debated in the months and years ahead. We remain committed to advocating on this issue on our members’ behalf.

Download our fact sheet for additional information: real estate transfer tax fact sheet.

You can also reach out to Amy Masters, Director of Government and External Affairs, at