CITY HALL — Aldermen submitted competing proposals to provide rebates for increased property taxes this week, as the mayor sought an expanded homeowner exemption in Springfield.
Aldermen Joe Moreno (1st) and Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) both submitted rebate proposals at Thursday's City Council meeting. Moreno's would be eligible for households with total income under $100,000, while Ramirez-Rosa's would apply to those with incomes under four times the poverty level, estimated at $47,000 for an individual, $64,000 for a couple and $97,000 for a family of four.
Ramirez-Rosa's proposal, co-sponsored by Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) and John Arena (45th) and backed by the Progressive Reform Caucus, is calculated based on the proposed tax increase and the homeowner's assessed property value. They estimated an eligible $250,000 home would merit a $400 rebate, against a $475 increase if the proposed 8-percent bump passes.
Moreno's proposal would create a "rebate rate" by subtracting household income from $100,000, then multiplying by the difference in tax rates from year to year and assessed value, arriving at an estimated $236 rebate for a $250,000 home with a household income of $50,000.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, however, wants to expand the homeowner exemption for owner-occupied homes valued at $250,000 or less, so that they "would see either no increase in their bill or will see a decline in their tax bill," according to mayoral spokeswoman Lauren Huffman.
Although Waguespack has said the plan appears to have little chance of clearing Gov. Bruce Rauner, given the current state budget impasse, Emanuel sent Deputy Mayor Steve Koch to Springfield Thursday to lobby for it, and later in the day said he expected it to be well-received in the General Assembly.
Emanuel said the advantage to his plan is that it's applied "at the front end, not the back end," as a rebate. "It's simple, it's clean, it's direct," Emanuel said.
Yet the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce has said it "opposes all efforts to increase the homeowner exemption for residential properties," under the belief that commercial properties would be forced to make up the difference.
The battling proposals figure to be hot topics during the budget hearing process, which begins Monday at City Hall.
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