Chicago mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson unveils laundry list of new taxes

Chicago mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson vowed Tuesday that, if elected, he'll push for a city income tax and a long laundry list of other taxes and fees to pay for unfunded public employee pensions and to hire more of government workers to provide social services.

"A $1 billion investment into our schools, into jobs, health care, safety, and transportation. And I’m doing all this without raising property taxes," Johnson said.

Johnson, however, would raise many other taxes, including a first-ever Chicago income tax on those making $100,000 a year; a new $98 million jet fuel tax on airlines; a "mansion tax" on home sales; a $100 million tax on banks and securities trading; another $30 million tax added to Chicago’s highest-in-the-nation hotel tax; and a $40 million surcharge on Metra commuter rail tickets.


At the county board, Johnson sponsored a resolution to decrease funding of police.

"My budget also takes a closer look at the budget that continues to get bigger and bigger, and that's the police budget. What we have hundreds of thousands of dollars and millions of dollars going toward things that are wasteful," Johnson said.


With 300,000 downtown office workers who left during the pandemic not having returned, a Chicago income tax would likely convince some never to return.

In addition, Metra ridership is barely half what it was in 2019. Johnson's surcharge would surely drive it lower.

Then, there are his proposed "new user fees" on "high-end commercial districts frequented by the wealthy." Maybe he's somehow missed all the empty storefronts on North Michigan Avenue?

Meanwhile, on Good Day Chicago, mayoral candidate Ja'Mal Green discussed his $5 billion social spending plan. Green claims an "audit" would quickly identify "waste" at City Hall that could pay for it all.

"We're spending billions and wasting a lot of money. So, we're gonna do a fiscal audit in our first hundred days," he said.

Early voting begins this Thursday at two locations in the Loop.