Springfield, IL – Employers stand strongly opposed to Mayor Emanuel’s proposal to double the homeowners’ exemption from $7,000 to $14,000 for homes valued at $250,000 or less. A proposal that we still have not seen details on.

An increase in the residential homeowners' exemption would shift even more of the property tax burden on to employers, as Cook County’s archaic and unfair classification system already requires commercial and industrial properties to pay 2.5 times more than residential properties. Employers already pay more than their fair share in property taxes, and this increase would further exacerbate that burden.

Employers continue to be hit on all sides by all levels of government. In the City of Chicago alone, employers have seen an increase in the minimum wage, implementation of a plastic bag ban, a ‘cloud tax,’ an increase in the 911 surcharge, and consideration of a paid sick leave mandate. The recent Cook County sales tax increase and the looming state revenue shortfall are also considerations.

We recognize the significant financial problems Mayor Emanuel faces and appreciate that he presented a budget that is honest about the true cost of government and works towards tackling the City’s fiscal obligations. However, employers cannot stand by and let the bulk of the financial burden be placed on the employers who will have to make a very real choice about where to cut in order to pay for these higher taxes.

Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago (BOMA/Chicago)

Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

Illinois Chamber of Commerce

Illinois Manufacturers’ Association
Illinois Retail Merchants Association

National Federation of Independent Business

Click here to read Chamber Vice President of Government Affairs Michael Reever's testimony today before the House Revenue & Finance Committee.