City funds Property Tax Rebate Program

August 25, 2016

With Springfield failing to act on the Mayor’s proposed doubling of the homeowners exemption, the Chicago City Council approved a City-funded rebate program to help offset the recent $580 million property tax increase.  It includes a base rebate for certain homeowners, a senior supplement for certain seniors, and the authority to establish criteria for an enhanced grant for homeowners under extraordinary hardship. 

The program will provide Chicago homeowners with a household adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less with a rebate to help offset the increase in their property taxes.  The rebate is a fixed amount between $25 and $200, determined using the increase in the homeowner’s City property taxes and the homeowner’s income. 

How does this impact BOMA/Chicago Members? While a property tax increase to address police and fire pensions was inevitable, BOMA/Chicago opposed the doubling of the homeowners exemption which would have shifted 70% of the property tax burden onto cost commercial real estate. The rebate program will have an estimated cost of $21 million. Rather than shifting the cost for homeowners’ tax relief to commercial real estate, the City plans to utilize the one year increase in real property transfer tax revenue due to the transfer of ownership interest in the Skyway to fund for the rebate program. 

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