Watch CBS News

Mayor Lori Lightfoot won't seek property tax hike in 2023 budget plan

Mayor Lori Lightfoot won't seek property tax hike in 2023 budget plan
Mayor Lori Lightfoot won't seek property tax hike in 2023 budget plan 00:17

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Faced with staggering inflation, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Thursday she no longer plans to ask the City Council to approve a 2.5% property tax increase as part of her 2023 budget plan, as she also prepares to run for re-election next year.

In August, Lightfoot had announced she would seek a property tax increase of $42.7 million for next year, amounting to about $34 a year for the owner of a $250,000 home, or as she put it, "about the price of an Al's Italian beef, hot, dipped, with extra cheese, for a family of four."

But, with her 2023 budget address set for Monday, Lightfoot's office announced Thursday afternoon she will no longer seek that property tax increase, citing better than expected revenues.

"The City of Chicago has experienced strong revenue performance throughout the course of 2022 and is projected to continue into 2023 due to the strong economic recovery, currently estimated at over $200 million over the Budget Forecast in FY2023. As a result of this strong improvement in revenues, we have determined it is important to give our taxpayers some additional relief. So, the FY 2023 budget that I will propose to City Council on Monday will not include a CPI increase on the property tax levy," Lightfoot said in a statement. 

The move should make it easier for Lightfoot to get aldermen to approve her overall spending plan for next year, and avoid the need for her to defend a tax hike while seeking voters' support for another term in office while they're already struggling with higher bills thanks to inflation that is up 8.3% over the past 12 months as of August.

Two years ago, Lightfoot convinced aldermen to approve annual property tax hikes tied to the consumer price index, but capped at 5% a year. During her August budget forecast, Lightfoot said she would only seek half that amount to help the city meet its pension obligations.

In announcing she'll skip plans for a property tax hike in 2023, Lightfoot said she is only planning to forgo the annual property tax hikes for one year.

"I have heard from residents and businesses across our city that continue to recover from the pandemic and have supported this strong recovery in City's revenues. This one time relief keeps our city on the course we've set in our previous budgets: protecting taxpayers, keeping our promises to workers on pensions, and making historic investments in public safety, mental health and public health in general and much more."  

This will be the first year in office that Lightfoot won't be asking for a property tax hike as part of her budget plan. 

The city's 2022 budget plan was funded in part by a $76.5 million increase in the city's property tax. That includes a $22.9 million automatic hike tied to the consumer price index, another $25 million to help fund the mayor's $3.7 billion capital plan, and $28.6 million in tax revenue to be collected from new property. This year's property tax increase was estimated to cost the average owner of a $250,000 home an additional $37 on their annual property tax bill.

Meantime, Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) has introduced an ordinance that would repeal the policy of enacting annual property tax increases tied to inflation, but that proposal has yet to get a hearing.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.