By continuing to use this website, you agree to our updated Subscriber Terms and Conditions and Terms of Service, effective 6/8/23

Article Attribution Text (update)

New story for checking in FE for subtype testing 1

Chicagoans won’t face the dreaded huge property tax hike many feared in the new year, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s budget still will dip into residents’ pockets.

For one thing, property taxes will go up, just not by the astronomical amount that loomed when the new mayor delivered a prime time August speech to unveil the $838 million budget deficit she said she inherited.


Lightfoot increased property taxes by $18 million to pay for Sunday hours at libraries. Property taxes will go up about $50 million more thanks to a $32 million increase aldermen approved under Mayor Rahm Emanuel to pay for debt service, and another $15 million or so for the value of new property in the city.

There’s also a tax increase of $5 million in the Chicago Park District budget. And as usual, the school district boosted its property taxes by the maximum increase allowed under state law. For 2020, that’s a $150 million jump.


None of the increases alone would be significant, but together they could be noticeable depending on the assessed value of an individual’s home.

[Most read] I study liars. I've never seen one like Donald Trump. »

In addition, there are other fee increases on tap in the new year.

Perhaps the most controversial new cost will hit those who hire ride-share companies such as Uber or Lyft.

In an effort to raise $40 million in 2020, Lightfoot successfully pushed a “congestion fee” she hopes will dissuade people through a carrot-and-stick approach from hailing single-passenger vehicles to get in and out of the crowded downtown area where traffic gridlock has become an even bigger problem with tens of thousands of ride-share drivers now on the streets.

The stick will be an additional $2.28 fee tacked on to those types of rides on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., making the tax per downtown trip $3. Single-passenger trips in outlying neighborhoods also will see a hike, of 53 cents to $1.25 per ride.

Chicago Tribune Sports


A daily sports newsletter delivered to your inbox for your morning commute.

Sign up for The Spin to get the top stories in politics delivered to your inbox weekday afternoons.

[Most read] Column: Bears starters finally experience that preseason vibe. Now stop making excuses for this disappointing season. »


Lightfoot’s anti-congestion carrot is a slight reduction in the city tax on ride-share pool rides that pick up more than one passenger at a time, from 72 cents down to 65 cents, which she hopes will persuade more people to use those.

Uber fought the plan hard, and the mayor said the company engaged in scare-mongering tactics while mischaracterizing her plan. As the battle heated up in November ahead of her budget vote, Lightfoot accused Uber without evidence of “paying off black ministers by offering them $54 million” to fight her ride-share tax proposal.

The mayor also doubled the tax on food and drinks bought in Chicago restaurants, from .25% to .5%, which she hopes will raise an extra $20 million in 2020. And she pushed through an increase to the personal property lease tax on some computer leases of cloud software and cloud infrastructure.

Downtown parking meter rate increases are coming, too. Lightfoot hopes to bring in $7 million by charging 50 cents more per hour to park on the street in and around downtown. In the Loop the meters will go up to $7 per hour, and elsewhere south of North Avenue, north of Roosevelt Road and east of Halsted Street the meters will increase to $4.50 an hour. The city also will install new metered parking areas in the West Loop.