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2015 Could Bring Chicago Tax Hikes


 Chicago taxes could go up in 2015.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2015 budget has been approved by the Finance Committee, meaning that 2015 is likely to bring higher taxes to Chicago, Illinois.

In his 2015 budget address to the City Council, the mayor makes no references to increasing taxes. Instead he says, “For the fourth year in a row, we will balance our budget and hold the line on property, sales and gas taxes.” The mayor neglects to mention that taxes “will be going up on everything from parking and vehicle leasing to cable television and skyboxes” (Chicago Sun Times).

Proposed tax increases:

  • Eliminate the reduced amusement tax on cable television. Cable television was once exempt from the city’s amusement tax. Then it was subject to a reduced rate. In 2015, the full 9% amusement tax will apply to cable television, adding approximately $2.40/month to the bills of consumers.
  • Increase the parking tax… again. The increase from 20% to 22% on weekdays and 18% to 20% on weekends is expected to generate approximately $10 million for road repair.
  • Tax skyboxes. Applying the city’s 9% amusement tax to skyboxes at Soldier Field, Wrigley Field, the United Center and U.S. Cellular Field is expected to generate $4.4 million.
  • Close the loophole that allows companies to avoid Chicago’s higher sales and use taxes by setting up so-called “sham” offices in lower tax towns. This is expected to generate $17 million.
  • Increase the tax on leased vehicles. The 8% personal property lease tax would increase to 9%.

The full Chicago City Council is expected to approve the budget on November 19. West Side Alderman Jason Ervin said, “We may not like it, but it’s something we can live with.” And Finance Chairman Edward Burke was up for eliminating additional loopholes.

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photo credit: brent flanders via photopin cc


Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.