Chicagoans- get ready for a bunch of new fee, fine, and tax hikes starting January 1.
Fees for certain parking and speeding infractions, impounded vehicle storage, and construction permit filings are going up.
“Amusement” taxes on cable television will jump 50 percent.
Beginning January 10, yet another cigarette tax hike of 50 cents per pack takes effect. Adding federal, state, and county taxes will leave Chicago with the highest taxes ($7.17) on cigarettes in the country.
None of this applicable to you? There’s more. I read an article by Hal Dardick in my Sunday paper (Chicago Tribune) this morning which warned:
The widest-felt effects will stem from the property tax increase enacted in August by the Chicago Board of Education and higher water and sewer fees set in motion during Emanuel’s first year in office as a way to pay for the replacement of aging mains.
The owner of a home valued at $213,000 can expect to pay about $51 more in school property taxes next year. It’s the third year in a row that Chicago property owners will get hit with higher school taxes.
City property owners and suburban governments that buy city water face a 15 percent increase in water rates. In some cases, suburban utilities will pass the increases on to people who buy their water. Sewer charges, added to city property owners’ bimonthly bills, will be 96 percent of their water tab, an increase of 4 percentage points…
“The owner of a home valued at $213,000.”
Not many decent houses down around that price level in my old neighborhood on the Northwest Side. Even in adjacent neighborhoods.
$51 would be just the starting point in that part of Chicago.
Dardick added later:
All of the new city fines and fees are expected to pump about $32.4 million into city coffers next year…
“$32.4 million.” Yeah, we’ll see.
Why such a “Doubting Thomas”? If anything, smokers who aren’t already doing it might be even more motivated in the new year to purchase their cigarettes outside of the Chicago city limits, depriving the City of Chicago of much needed and anticipated revenue.
Then there’s the possibility that a significant number of Chicagoans might become extra-wary going forward about being slapped with the well-publicized and more expensive parking and moving violations. More anticipated money gone.
And down the road, there’s already talk among certain suburbs of bypassing Lake Michigan water collected and distributed by the City of Chicago.
Regardless, Chicago residents- should they choose to remain in the “Windy City”- should keep on expecting higher fees, fines, and taxes in the years to come.
Then again, the same might be said for a lot of places across the United States.
But to the degree that I expect Chicagoans to get hit with? Not really.
By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)
Dardick, Hal. “Higher Chicago taxes, fines and fees for 2014.” Chicago Tribune. 20 Dec. 2013. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-chicago-new-taxes-fees-met-20131222,0,6847986.story). 22 Dec. 2013.
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