(The Center Square) – Wirepoints President Ted Dabrowski worries about what he fears the city of Chicago appears to be setting itself up for.
“With all the high crime, bad schools and empty downtown office buildings we’re seeing, the city is facing the real risk of being stuck in the doom loop, where things across the board just continue to spiral out of control,” Dabrowski told The Center Square. “I think it all starts with all the high taxes that pose such a big problem for all the businesses.”
A new Lincoln Institute of Land Policy study finds Chicago is now home to the second highest commercial property taxes in the country, with most of the high cost stemming from government spending and the high taxes that are being passed on to tenants in the form of higher rents. Only Detroit’s is higher.
At 3.78 percent, commercial property taxes across the city are more than double the U.S. average for the largest cities in each state. Over the past decade, total taxes billed in the city have jumped from $1.98 billion in tax year 2011 to $3.82 billion, making for a 93% increase over that time. In Central Illinois, commercial taxes now average in the neighborhood of $150,000 annually for some of the city’s largest businesses.
“All the data shows we’re already chasing businesses away to other states with all the taxing that only shifts more of the burden on to them,” Dabrowski said. “We’re seeing more and more of these businesses just packing up and heading for states that are much more business-friendly.”
With things being the way they are in Illinois and showing few signs of changing any time soon, Dabrowski said he can’t see how new Mayor Brandon Johnson can possibly make good on his promise not to raise property taxes.
“It’s a real problem with all the added spending he’s promised,” he said. “If he really wants to spend all that money and meet all his promises, he’s almost certainly going to have to continue to raise taxes.”