Chicago Voters Poised to Decline Tax Plan Aimed at Combating Homelessness

Chicago Voters

On Tuesday, voters in Chicago seemed to say no to a higher tax on property sales over $1 million. They said it could’ve raised about $100 million every year. The idea was behind by 8% with 81% of votes counted.

Supporters of the plan called the results “not great.” But they didn’t give up hope on Tuesday night. They said there were still around 100,000 mail-in votes to count. The plan was losing by about 23,000 votes, with almost 300,000 votes in total.

“Whatever happens in the end, one thing is super clear tonight: our opponents are really keen on making money from kicking people out of their homes and making inequality worse,” said Bring Home Chicago, the main group backing the plan. They also complained about how landlords, real estate agents, and developers campaigned against it.

SEE MORE: Arlington Heights unveils a fresh tax bill proposal for the Bears’ stadium following the team’s shift in focus to Chicago

If the plan passed, most people in Chicago would pay less in property taxes. For transfers under $1 million, they’d pay $6 instead of the current $7.50 for every $100,000 of the property’s price. But for pricier properties, like big office buildings, there would be higher taxes. For transfers between $1 million and $1.5 million, the tax would be $20 for every $100,000. And for anything above that, it would be $30.

People who liked the plan in the City Council, mainly Democrats, thought it would bring in an extra $100 million every year. That money would go towards helping homeless people.

This tax system would make Chicago similar to cities like San Francisco and Philadelphia, according to Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, the alderman for Chicago’s 35th ward.

Opponents included landlords and managers of fancy properties. They said the plan would make it harder to fix up downtown office buildings, which have had trouble getting tenants because of COVID-19.

In 2021, more than 68,000 people in Chicago didn’t have a permanent home at some point, according to a report by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. About 44,000 of them stayed with other people temporarily, while 24,000 were on the streets or in shelters. And with more immigrants coming to the city, officials started kicking some foreigners out of homeless shelters on Sunday.

ALSO SEE: Chicago is evicting migrants from shelters, causing resident outcry over a lack of respect

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