Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson wants to impose a “mansion tax” on homes selling for more than $1 million

  • Newly appointed Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson is looking to impose a tax on home sales worth more than $1 million in the Windy City.
  • Realtors who sell their homes for between $1 million and $1.5 million will see their tax rates rise from 0.75% to 2%.
  • Allies of Mayor Johnson, 47, also announced plans to push a $12 billion plan for the city titled “First We Get the Money.”

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson is pushing for a “mansion tax” on home sales worth more than $1 million, as his administration continues to impose a higher tax on households earning more than $100,000.

The city’s newly elected mayor, who took office from his disastrous predecessor Lori Lightfoot in May of this year, wants to raise taxes in order to combat homelessness in the city.

Allies of Mayor Johnson, 47, also announced plans to push a $12 billion plan for the city titled “First We Get the Money.”

The plan, which appears to be named after a quote from the 1983 movie Scarface, aims to build a “fairer” Chicago by cutting police funding and imposing new city taxes.

Johnson believes that people who own million-dollar properties in the third-largest city in the United States are “rich, and they should pay if they sell those homes.”

Mayor Brandon Johnson delivers his remarks at a news conference at City Hall in Chicago on August 2, 2023
This property, located just outside of town, is currently for sale for just over $1 million
Realtors who sell their homes for between $1 million and $1.5 million will see their tax rates rise from 0.75% to 2%.

The plan, called “Bring Chicago Home,” is a compromise of his previous plan that would have seen the transfer tax rate triple from 0.75 percent to 2.65 percent.

According to the National Review, Johnson is now proposing a three-tier gradual transfer rate.

This means that sales under $1 million will see a tax reduction from .75 percent to .06 percent, while property owners who sell their homes for between $1 million and $1.5 million will see tax rates. From 0.75% to 2%

Property sales worth $1.5 million and above will see the tax rate increase four times to three percent of the transfer amount.

A search of real estate websites by showed that it was difficult to find large-scale properties worth more than $1 million, as most were condos or small houses.

According to Midwest Real Estate Data viewed by Chicago Business, 2,391 homes sold for $1 million or more in Chicago last year, down 14.5 percent from the previous year.

Zillow also currently reports that the median home price in Chicago is $287,709, which represents a 1.2 percent decrease compared to last year.

Business owners have expressed dissatisfaction with additional taxes planned by the former union organizer, whose surprise victory this month was achieved thanks to the support of figures such as Bernie Sanders.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot left office earlier this year after losing the election in April – pictured here in May

“We remain opposed to that,” Jack Lavin, president of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, told the Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago would have the second-highest real estate transfer tax if passed, compared to competitive cities.

This will deter global investors. It will hinder development, union job creation, and the growth of the tax base and small businesses.

“It will come at a time when vacancy rates are high, available sublease space is high, foreclosures are high, and the return to the office is still recovering.

“Property tax rates are high.” All of this increases the burden on the business community.

The latest tax is just one of several ways the new mayor has proposed to generate revenue for the city.

The “Money First We Get” plan would raise taxes on more than a third of all Chicago households earning more than $100,000.

National Review reported that $100,000 doesn’t amount to as much in Chicago as it does in most other cities.

Chicago currently ranks 58th out of 76 U.S. cities for the cost-of-living-adjusted wage on a $100,000 income, with Chicagoans earning just $59,505.

The additional tax implemented by the new mayor will continue to erode take-home wages.

Nearby cities, including St. Louis, Indianapolis, Lexington and Milwaukee, are seeing salary increases of up to $100,000.

In addition to higher taxes, Johnson is also facing a migrant crisis, with Chicago, one of the mostly Democratic-led northern cities, declared “sanctuary cities.”

Jack LaVine, president of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, said he opposes the mayor’s new moves

Some migrants were photographed sitting on the floor of a police station waiting for temporary shelter

Footage published by photojournalist Rebecca Brannon earlier this year showed dozens of migrants sitting on and around mattresses at a Chicago police station.

Brannon reported that many of the migrants slept and ate on the floor, which interfered with daily police activities.

After Johnson was elected in May, businesses vowed to leave the city because of the additional taxes he promised.

The rise in crime had already forced companies such as Boeing and Caterpillar to relocate their headquarters elsewhere under his predecessors.

Last September, McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempszenksi said the fast food giant was facing challenges hiring workers at its Chicago headquarters.

Tyson Foods announced that it will move all of the company’s teams to its headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas.

Johnson is also facing a growing migrant crisis, with Chicago among US cities struggling to provide shelter and other aid to hundreds arriving from the southern border.

Lori Lightfoot’s time in office was marked by criticism over her handling of crime in the city, which rose significantly. The city recorded 800 murders in 2021, the highest in 25 years.

Lightfoot has also faced controversy over her tense relationship with the press and city unions, with some accusing her of restricting Freedom of Information access to public records.

Lightfoot, the first Black woman and first openly gay person to lead the city, won her first term in 2019 after promising to end decades of corruption and backroom dealing at City Hall.

But opponents have blamed Lightfoot for a surge in crime that has occurred in cities across the United States during the pandemic and criticized her as an overly divisive and controversial leader.

As crime rates continued to rise during the final years of her term, Lightfoot came under fire for promoting matters other than public safety, including a citywide karaoke contest and dancing in the street during a festival.

(tags for translation)Chicago

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