CHICAGO — Members of the Chicago City Council may have breathed a sigh of relief after approving a 2019 budget that added no new taxes or fees.
But Chicagoans will still have to dig deeper in 2019 as three previously approved tax and fee hikes click into place.
A host of new laws — some imposing new taxes and fees — are now in effect.
Homeowners face third installment of water tax hike
The third installment of the 30 percent increase in the city’s water and sewer taxes approved by the City Council will hit homeowners’ bills starting this month.
The cost for Chicago water will rise from $1.28 per 1,000 gallons used to $2.01 per 1,000 gallons, according to city officials.
That means the median household with a water meter will pay $39.05 more in 2019. Most homeowners who do not have a meter will see their bills rise $79.94, officials said.
When the tax is fully implemented by 2022, the owner of the average home will pay $228 more a year in water and sewer taxes than in 2016.
The additional revenue is earmarked for the city’s Municipal Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund, which includes most city employees who are not firefighters or police officers.
Final property tax hike to help police, firefighter pensions set
Chicago property owners will also have to foot the bill for a $63 million increase in the city’s property tax, the fourth and final installment of the largest property tax hike in Chicago’s history — $589 million phased in over four years.
Aldermen approved the hike in 2016 to to pay for pensions for the city’s police officers and firefighters.
The city property tax hike means the owner of a $250,000 home will pay $97 more, according to city data.
The Chicago Public Schools also approved a property tax hike for 2019 bills in an effort to bring in an additional $75 million in property tax revenues and a $12 million in Personal Property Replacement Taxes.
Uber, Lyft set to get more expensive
That Uber or Lyft ride home will be more expensive in 2019, under the second phase of a plan touted by Mayor Rahm Emanuel as a “unique way” to fund improvements to CTA bus and train lines.
The city’s surcharge on trips with ride-sharing firms will rise another nickel to 72 cents — a 38 percent increase from 2017 rates, according to city data.
New state law means less siren noise for Downtown residents
A bill backed by Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) and Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) means Downtown residents will hear less siren noise.
HB 5632 allows ambulances and rescue vehicles to operate a siren “only when it is reasonably necessary to warn pedestrians and other drivers of the approach thereof while responding to an emergency call or transporting a patient.”
The law will affect only ambulances in Chicago, since it only applies to Illinois cities with a population of at least 1 million.
The previous law called for continuous use.
Siren noise has been a frequent complaint from Streeterville residents, since their neighborhood is home to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Lurie Children’s Hospital.