Lightfoot blocks Chicago City Council from considering referendum on doubling real estate tax

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is preventing the Chicago City Council from considering a potential referendum question that residents would vote on in February, asking whether the city should double its tax on property sales where the price tag is over $1 million.

"Despite this mayor being one of the weakest mayors in decades, she still has a lot of power. And right now she's using that power to block her campaign promises," said. Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa.

There was more parliamentary maneuvering, but in the end, since a majority of the city council was not present, no substantive action could be taken.


The referendum that the socialist and progressive caucuses of the city council want to submit to voters in February would double the real estate transfer tax on properties sold for more than $1 million from 2% to 4%, possibly costing owners up to an additional $200 million a year.

Opponents argue that jobs and the local economy would suffer if Chicago doubled the tax on real estate transfers with price tags of more than $1 million. Supporters say it would generate up to $200 million a year for programs to benefit the homeless.

"So we need to make sure that we have our own local source of funding so that year after year, we can have dollars. Hundreds of millions of dollars to get housing built," Ramrez-Rosa told FOX 32.

When she ran four years, Lightfoot appeared to endorse a plan much like this. But as if with several other campaign promises that she made then, this one has not yet been delivered on.

Lightfoot did move and successfully block Monday’s meeting on the issue.