On Wednesday, October 31, 2018, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he opposed a measure introduced in City Council that would raise Chicago’s one-time Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT) on the sale of properties valued at more than $1 million to fund programs that would dramatically reduce homelessness in Chicago. Under the proposal, Chicago’s electorate would have an opportunity to vote for this plan as a referendum question on the February 2019 ballot for city elections.
In response to the Mayor’s statement, the Bring Chicago Home campaign issued the following statement:
We’re disappointed that Mayor Emanuel rejected an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy for the good of Chicago by allowing city voters to act on their desire to combat homelessness. Polls show voters already think alleviating homelessness should be a higher priority for the city, and the urgency to act is only going to escalate if city leaders continue to let the problem languish.
Chicago’s spending on homelessness remains dead-last on a per-capita basis compared to the 10 cities with the largest homeless populations – and next-to-last on the amount of funding per-homeless-person. That’s a troubling record that must change with the next mayor.
This campaign is only beginning, and with the support of more than 30 aldermen – and with public-opinion polling showing that more than two-thirds of city voters favor our solution to the plight of homelessness in Chicago – we’re determined to build on our strengths.