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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Chicago Real Estate Transfer Tax - Going UP!
Originally posted: Chicago Tribune February 6, 2008

City Council boosts real estate transfer tax, want vets to get free rides
Posted by Gary Washburn at 2:25 p.m.

The Chicago City Council Wednesday approved a 40 percent real estate transfer tax increase to aid public transit---but the CTA only gets the money if active military personnel and disabled veterans get to ride their buses and trains for free.
The council approved the tax increase, which goes into effect for homes and other property sold after April 1, by a 41-6 vote.
Many aldermen blamed the state for putting them in the predicament. The city tax increase stemmed from last month's General Assembly deal to avert  heavy service cuts by providing more money to transit agencies. The legislation called for the City Council to raise the real estate transfer tax in Chicago by $3 -- to $10.50 per $1,000 of sales price -- to help cover CTA employee pension and health-care costs.
The ordinance puts the increase burden on home buyers, but aldermen said they were drafting an amendment that would shift the entire increase to the seller of the property.
Mayor Richard Daley gave an impassioned speech on behalf of the tax hike, saying aldermen who voted against it should be willing to forgo CTA service in their wards.
Aldermen added a provision requiring the CTA to give free rides for disabled veterans and active military personnel before the CTA can tap into what's expected to be $2.3 billion in transfer tax revenue over 30 years.
The state legislation already granted free rides to seniors.
Here are the six aldermen who voted against the increase:
Bob Fioretti (2nd)
Sandi Jackson (7th)
Sharon Dixon (24th)
Rey Colon (35th)
Brian Doherty (41st)
Bernard Stone (50th)
9:41 pm cst 

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