(The Center Square) – Chicago property owners could see a massive spike in property taxes in 2023 after Mayor Lori Lightfoot linked property tax rates to inflation. She says her administration is looking for a fix.
The consumer price index has increased to over 9% in June, a 40-year high, which could lead to property taxes nearly quadrupling next year over last year in Chicago due to Lightfoot’s 2020 decision to tie the levy with inflation.
Lightfoot was asked if she regrets her decision to tie the two together.
“Nobody could’ve anticipated the consequences of inflation that we’re seeing here this year, but we’ve started a discussion internally with our finance team,” Lightfoot said Monday. “We’ll present a plan as part of our budget to make sure there isn’t a significant burden on taxes for our taxpayers.”
Lightfoot said her decision to connect the two came from an effort to stabilize the tax process “so that we were not going through these droughts then having historic level property tax increases.”
Chicago property owners may now face one massive increase instead of small increases over time. If Lightfoot decides to collect the full amount allowed under her annual tax formula, which would be about 5%, the tax increase would quadruple from $22.9 million in 2022 to $85.5 million in 2023, according to a Chicago Tribune report.
Chicago residents are currently facing record levels of inflation on gas and other items and deal with the state’s second-highest property taxes in the nation.
The property tax increase could begin to affect businesses and consumers due to even higher costs at restaurants, stores, bars and elsewhere.
Willie Wilson, a candidate for Chicago mayor, said on Twitter that high taxes “run people and businesses out of Chicago.”
“The Mayor’s Decision to tie property taxes to inflation may result in gigantic bills for next year,” he said.
In a news release, Wilson said the “highest food, gas, and utility prices coupled with a property tax increase would devastate property owner and renters. When politicians raise taxes on businesses or landlords, they pass the cost on to consumers. Last year, more than 45,000 people left Chicago according to census data. That exodus will continue if our leaders continue raising taxes.”