A half-dozen Democratic Senators sat down with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s staff last Tuesday to propose a compromise on the mayor’s graduated real estate transfer tax idea.
The compromise was floated after 13 House Democrats representing the city publicly declared they wouldn’t support the mayor’s RETT proposal unless more money was spent on homeless prevention programs.
The idea presented to the mayor would still allow her to raise $100 million a year for the city’s budget but would add about $86 million for homeless programs. The initiative comes from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, which also encouraged those 13 House Dems to speak out last week. They would leave in place the mayor’s RETT rate cut for properties valued at $500K and below, but the next tier would include sales of $500K-$750K instead of $500K-$1 million. And the mayor’s proposed marginal rate of 2.55 percent on sales over $10 million would be boosted to 4 percent under the new plan.
Five of the Senators who met with the mayor’s people, Ram Villivalam, Robert Peters, Iris Martinez, Patricia Van Pelt, and Jacqueline Collins, are from the city. But one, Ann Gillespie, is from the suburbs. Chicago will most definitely need suburban votes to get this thing done.
So far, the Senators haven’t heard back from the city. A mayoral spokesperson said they’re still “having conversations” about the legislation, which they hope will be voted on next week. An official with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless said in part, “we cannot see a reason why she would not agree” to their proposal because it does everything the mayor says she wants to do. I’ll post both statements in their entirety at the blog.