Chicago mayor warns inflation-weary residents should expect a 2.5% property tax increase

Windy City expects a budget gap of about $127.9 million in 2023, down from $733 million in 2022.

Updated: August 11, 2022 - 12:58am

Residents of Chicago can expect to see their property taxes increased in 2023, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Wednesday at a budget forecast briefing.

Lightfoot said her plan includes a 2.5% property tax increase for 2023, totaling more than $42 million in new revenue for the city.

Lightfoot said the city expects a budget gap of about $127.9 million in 2023, down from $733 million in 2022. The gap is the smallest since Lightfoot took office in 2018, she said.

Lightfoot implemented a policy of tying the city's property taxes to the inflation rate. But with 40-year-high inflation, Lightfoot said she is steering away from that policy, which would have required a 5% increase.

Lightfoot said she and her team made a "reasonable" decision to increase property taxes.

"We have come up with what I think is a reasonable, principled approach based upon the data, and we will be starting conversations with the city council," Lightfoot said. "There is always give and take on lots of different aspects of the budget, but I think this is a reasonable number."

Lightfoot said the proposed tax increase would not end up being too much for most Chicagoans, claiming a homeowner with a "$250,000 home" will have to pay "$34 in one year."

Lightfoot claims the tax increase is needed to help the city's poorly performing pension system, which has nearly $47 billion in debt, and prevent job layoffs and other cuts.

"If the choice is nondelivery of city resources, a layoff of city workers, or a modest tax increase, most people would say, OK, mayor, I get that. I may not like it, but I get it," she said.

The state's 2023 budget will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.