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2020 Will Cost You More In Chicago — Here’s How It Adds Up

Uber and Lyft rides, parking Downtown and dining out will all cost more as new tax hikes go into effect.

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CHICAGO — Members of the Chicago City Council may have breathed a sigh of relief after approving a 2020 budget that closed an $838 million budget deficit without imposing a massive property tax hike.

But Chicagoans will still have to dig deeper to cover a host of new taxes and fees that will help keep the city out of the red in the new year.

The city will collect $72.3 million more in property tax revenues in 2020 than it did in 2019, according to an analysis by the Civic Federation.

That includes $15 million in taxes paid by the owners of newly constructed buildings, $18 million to allow Chicago Public Library branches to reopen on Sunday afternoons and $7 million to fund the City Colleges of Chicago.

Chicago residents will also pay more property taxes to fund Chicago Public Schools after the Board of Education voted to increase property taxes by $150 million — the maximum allowed by state law.

The combined impact of all those taxes means property owners in Chicago will pay $222 million more in property taxes in 2020 — a year that the mayor and her supporters have taken pains to tout the lack of a large property tax hike in her first budget.

Uber, Lyft set to get more expensive

Hopping into an Uber or Lyft by yourself to get to or from Downtown is about to get much more expensive.

Starting Monday, taxes on single rides that start or end in an area that includes the Central Business District, the Near North Side and West Loop will triple in an effort to kill two birds with one stone: raising $40 million to help plug the city’s budget gap, and reducing congestion Downtown.

The new ride-hailing fee will be the highest in the nation.

It will cost more to park in West Loop, Downtown

Drivers who park in the West Loop and in the Central Business District will be forced to pony up an additional 50 cents per hour to leave their car at a meter.

It will cost $7 an hour to park in the Loop and $4.50 per hour in the Commercial Business District and the West Loop once the price hikes are in place and several new meters are added, officials said.

The spending plan approved by aldermen also gives the green light for the cost to park at meters to rise gradually in 25-cent increments to keep pace with increases in the cost of living. Those regular increases would be the first since former Mayor Richrd M. Daley leased 75 years’ worth of parking meter revenues to a private company in return for $1.15 billion.

That deal was so loathed that former Mayor Rahm Emanuel was loathe to hike the cost of metered parking. That forced the city to dip into other sources of revenue to compensate the firm for lost revenue when inflation rises, meters are removed, temporarily taken out of commission with the city’s permission or used by motorists with disabled parking permits, according to the terms of the deal.

If drivers opt to park their car in a garage, they will end up paying more, too — thanks to a new tax approved by state lawmakers to fund the state’s capital bill.

The new law imposes a 6 percent tax on daily and hourly garage parking and a 9 percent tax on monthly and annual parking, records show.

Dining out will get more expensive

The city will add $20 million to its coffers by raising its tax on restaurant meals from 0.25 percent to 0.50 percent. That will be levied on top of Chicago’s sales tax of 10.25 percent, one of the highest in the nation. 

Meals Downtown and at the airports also come with an additional 1 percent food and beverage tax.

And so will staying in to chill

The city will add $17.2 million to its bottom line by raising the cloud tax on the tech community from 5.25 percent to 7.25 percent.

RELATEDChicago streaming tax upheld on appeal, state tax next?

No more free garbage pickup for nonprofits

The 2020 Chicago budget ends free garbage collections for nonprofit organizations, a practice condemned by Inspector General Joseph Ferguson.

Approximately 1,200 organizations will have to pay $9.50 a month, while large groups will have to hire private waste haulers.

But workers earning the minimum wage will get a raise in July

Chicago’s minimum wage will rise to $14 an hour in July as part of what Lightfoot calls her effort to fight poverty and fulfill a campaign promise. 

Workers in the rest of the state will see the minimum wage rise from $8.25 an hour to $9.25 an hour as of Jan. 1.

The minimum wage will hit $15 an hour in July 2021 in Chicago, and $15 an hour in January 2025 in the rest of the state.