121 Report – CRMA – October 2015 – Part 3

In This Issue

Council Introductions


This week, the Chicago City Council will vote to pass the budget which includes a number of revenue and management items detailed in previous issues of the 121 Report and possibly including these latest introductions. Matters previously discussed in committee can be amended as well before passage. The following are matters that are both new and revisions of current proposals.



Sidewalk Cafe Permit Fee

Sponsors: Alderman John Arena (45th Ward), Alderman Toni Foulkes (16th Ward), Alderman Roderick Sawyer (6th Ward) and others

Committee on Finance

This proposal would establish a minimum annual fee of $1200 for a sidewalk café permit. Currently, the fees for such permits are determined on an individual basis according to land values.

Property Tax Residential Rebate Program

Sponsors: Alderman Michele Smith (43rd Ward), Alderman Joe Moreno (1st Ward), Alderman Brian Hopkins (2nd Ward) and others

Committee on Finance

This is an alternate proposal to Mayor Emanuel’s current plan to exempt homes with a value of $250,000 or less from the increased property tax. Mayor Emanuel’s proposal would require the General Assembly to approve his request to double the current levy. Business groups, including IRMA, and the apartment association have all advocated against the exemption as it will move the increased tax onto the employer and renter communities. Our position has been that if property taxes are going up, then all taxpayers should share in the pain. Neighborhood businesses should not have to pick up the tab.

While Alderman Smith’s proposal would not exempt any taxpayer from paying their share of the increase, it would only allow some homeowners (those with an AGI of under $100,000) to get relief based on their income. Our concern is that the money that is rebated will have to be recovered elsewhere in the budget. The business community is concerned that they will be required to pay in some other way to make up the difference. In either proposal, we will be asked to pay, whether directly, or indirectly down the line. Therefore, we are opposed to this introduction.

Stormwater Stress User Fee

Sponsors: Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th Ward), Alderman Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward), Alderman Nicholas Sposato (38th Ward) and others

Committee on Finance

This proposal would create a new user fee beginning in 2017 for properties with impervious surfaces. The fee would apply both to residential and commercial properties. The formula for determining the fee for commercial properties would take into account the storm water management costs attributed to residential properties. The city will determine the amount of impervious surface for each property using a GIS program. The funds from the fee will go to a separate fund to address storm water issues and the rest will be deposited into the sewer fund.


Contact Information:

Tanya Triche
Vice President & General Counsel