CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that she will abandon plans to raise property taxes as part of next year's proposed city budget.
When the mayor first announced the framework of her budget in August at the Chicago Cultural Center, she sought to minimize the impact of a $42 million dollar property tax increase. She said owners of homes valued at $250,000 would pay only $34 per year.
In a statement released Thursday, though, Lightfoot cited “strong revenue performance” and a low projected 2023 budget gap as reasons to ditch the tax hike for this coming year.
The move followed a report that Lightfoot’s allies in City Council had urged the mayor not to go through with the planned tax increase.
With 15 departing alderpersons, some of whom are campaigning to unseat Lightfoot as mayor, it looked like it would be a difficult fight to get City Council approval for the property tax increase, especially heading into the February 2023 election.
Lightfoot has criticized former mayors for punting on property tax increases, which she has said worked to the detriment of the city’s overall fiscal health.
“To be clear, our pension obligations are real and continue to grow in the out years,” Lightfoot said in her statement. “As long as I am mayor, we will never shirk those obligations to our retirees who have every right to depend upon the pensions they earned, and we will use all tools at our disposal … in future years.”
We expect to see more details of the mayor's budget proposal next month.