Chicago is heading downhill because of the high-cost city-based taxes compared to the quality of services offered in return. It ranked 141 out of the 150 largest U.S. cities, according to a WalletHub financial research statement released in July 2021. The report revealed the city had been slowly increasing the cost of products and services like gas, sewer usage, and water.
However, property taxes rose significantly in recent years, and with Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s current budget adding an annual automatic inflation-related increase, there seems no relief in sight. Under Lightfoot and former Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicagoans have paid an increase of $637 million in property taxes — a jump of 164 percent.
The city’s sales tax is 10.25 percent, one of the highest in the nation. In addition, people cannot enjoy online streaming services without being taxed. Chicagoans pay a nine percent entertainment tax in addition to subscription fees for memberships with sites like Spotify and Netflix.
Where Chicago’s Tax Dollars Are Spent
A large portion of taxpayers’ money is used to offset the cost of Chicago’s pension debt. For example, in 2021 alone, the city will be spending about $1.82 billion in pension contributions, and in 2022 the cost will go up to $2.25 billion. The fiscal research data projects that during Lightfoot’s first term, the city’s annual contributions are expected to grow at least $1 billion.
As a mayor, Lightfoot understands the problem with runaway pension costs, but she has done little to change the problem. Moreover, she has not revealed a plan to change high taxation that does not serve all Chicagoans.
Written by Adam Myers
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
Ilinois Policy: CHICAGO ALMOST HITS BOTTOM RANK OF 150 CITIES FOR HIGH COST, POOR SERVICES; by Luke Schafer
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Pedro Szekely’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Pictures of Money’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License