City Council passes transfer-tax increase

No surprise here: Aldermen completed the CTA bailout on Wednesday by passing a 40-percent transfer-tax increase for most (but not all) property buyers, the Trib reports.

Transfer taxes will rise from $7.50 per $1,000 of sale price to $10.50 starting April 1. The hike could generate as much as $2.3 billion for CTA pensions over the next 30 years.

Six aldermen voted against the bill, much to the chagrin of the mayor. Daley had some choice words for those who didn’t fall in line behind the increase.

After the vote, Mayor Richard Daley claimed that the City Council “is not a rubber stamp” and that its 50 members “vote their consciences.”

But minutes earlier, he angrily castigated a half-dozen aldermen who opposed the tax increase ordinance, saying they were taking the soft way out of a tough situation.

“It is easy to crawl out of here,” he declared. “It is easy to say no.”

Daley challenged the six to “Stand up and say, ‘I want the CTA to bypass my ward.'”

He said that under the outrage by constituents that would result, “You won’t last one day.”

Seniors keep reaping the benefits of this CTA deal. Buyers 65 and older can apply for a refund if they purchase homes priced at $250,000 or less and attest to living in them for a year. The deal is also contingent on the CTA letting disabled veterans and active military personnel ride for free.

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