CITY HALL — Mayor Rahm Emanuel is moving to grant rebates on property tax bills for households earning under $75,000.
Working to simplify and consolidate competing proposals in the City Council, the Emanuel administration announced Thursday that it would rebate between $25-$200 to an estimated 155,000 homeowners.
The proposal would set up a three-tier structure for households with an adjusted gross income under $25,000, under $50,000 and up to $75,000. The lowest tier would get up to a $200 rebate on a bill that rose more than $350. The middle tier would get up to $175 in relief, and the highest of the three tiers would get up to $150.
The administration estimated that the average eligible homeowner would get a rebate of $150.
Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), who submitted one of the previous proposals, cheered what he called "a property-tax relief program that draws upon progressive provisions."
Ramirez-Rosa pointed to how "this proposal ensures that the poorest homeowners who see the largest property-tax increase get the maximum rebate of $200," and he likewise applauded its relief for seniors.
The proposal also OKs $100 for all seniors 60 and older who've seen their home's assessed value rise more than 30 percent this year, regardless of income.
The move comes after the Council approved a record $589 million increases in property taxes over four years last October, with $319 million of that going to required police and firefighter pension payments due this year.
The administration estimated the total cost of the rebate program at $21 million. It will be administered through third parties working on promoting it with aldermanic offices and local media.
Ramirez-Rosa expressed disappointment that the proposal doesn't also provide relief for renters who might see the tax hike get passed on. Yet the administration called that "difficult and costly to enforce," adding that limits placed on rent hikes would be hard to determine in how they "are complied with or how the city will address rents that increased prior to the application for a rebate."
The administration issued a statement saying, "Further work is needed to structure a rental rebate that addresses these concerns," and Ramirez-Rosa said he would work toward those additional provisions.
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