Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Chicago City Council sticks it to home owners - again - even if they DON'T buy the house

The Chicago Tribune reported this morning that the Chicago City Council is trying to figure out a way to make buyers pay the Real Estate Transfer Tax - even if they don't buy the house!

"Remember what I said about Bea Reyna-Hickey," said Ald. Bernard Stone (50th), invoking the name of the city's revenue director with whom he has clashed. "When there is a corpse lying in a casket she'll shake it to see if any change falls out of its pocket."

Under one proposal now in draft form, City Hall would require the transfer tax to be paid even when the buyer forfeits the down payment, which sometimes happens when a buyer backs out of a deal. Under a second proposal, the requirement to pony up would be triggered immediately when there is an installment agreement--a contract in which the buyer pays the seller over a period of months but does not receive title to the property until the last payment is made.


The article continues on containing quotes from officials at the City Revenue Department justifying their opinion that they be entitled to collect the tax in these non-sale situations. However, one question looms in my head:

If the property returns to the market and is successfully sold, and the next buyer pays the tax, too, isn't this double taxation?

Oh, and since I know that a staffer from my Alderman's office regularly scours the internet for references to his name - this is for you:

32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack - you voted in favor of the tax increase. I am a very vocal resident of the 32nd ward. I am a very vocal member of the Chicago Association of Realtors. I have an email database of all my neighbors. I intend to remind everyone that I can that you helped stifle the only bright spot in the U.S. economy at the moment. And that you dealt a harsh blow to my business.

Oh, I feel much better now.


Anonymous said...

Don't forget all the TIFs that our 'reform' Alderman voted for, raising all of our property taxes. And his joke of a ward office that makes Matlak's look like NASA by comparison. What a disappointment.