Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t

On February 6th the city council is voting on a proposed increase in the transfer tax. Until a few minutes ago I didn’t know what a transfer tax was. Apparently, if you buy property in Chicago, you have to pay $7.50 for every one thousand dollars you spend. If the proposal passes, that will go up to $10.50 – a forty percent increase. The main purpose of the increase is to fund the CTA. You recall all those “Doomsday Averted!” headlines a couple of weeks ago? This is how they averted it.

Real estate groups are upset about this, and have even launched a new website to voice their concerns. At first glance, one cannot help but wonder if it wouldn’t have been easier to just raise the fares. But then it occurs to me that the whole reason they didn’t raise the fares was to avoid causing economic hardship for the vast amount of riders who, like myself, are not in a position to start buying property anyway.

But then I wonder, is it fair to ask other people to foot the bill so that I can save a few bucks on bus fare?

I genuinely don’t know the answer to this question. I’m interested in hearing what you all have to say about it.

3 Comments so far

  1. RP (unregistered) on January 31st, 2008 @ 12:59 pm

    Here is the issue that the City Council and CTA is not telling anyone. This tax is going to fund the CTA pension! It won’t actually put another train on the tracks or bus on the street.

    I went on http://www.wrongtax.com and it calculated how much EXTRA people will have to pay with this tax hike – it is like at least $1,000 (for someone getting a small place like me).

    I don’t have a pension fund – why am I paying for the CTA’s?

    I emailed my alderman at the site and let him know that this hike will not make CTA service better – it will just make it harder for me to afford a place to live.

  2. jack (unregistered) on January 31st, 2008 @ 8:56 pm

    A fare hike would also be to fund the pension, not to make service any different. We should certainly be paying for public transit, it is more important to the city than the hardship it causes you to shell out $1000 extra. A nice tax increase on gasoline to go toward public transit improvements would also be a good idea. Make it more difficult to drive and easier to ride the train.

  3. Dennis (unregistered) on February 4th, 2008 @ 10:38 am

    Hell while we are at it why dont I just give my whole paycheck to the city councel and my home while I am at it. I cant afford to have either one of them anymore with the taxes increasing just to fund pensions of others. Hey I dont even use the public transportation system but I am being forced to pay for it. How fair is that? I have a great Idea cut back on all the useless spending and concentrait on the basics. No one is earning anymore money thease day infact most are making less unless you work in this state government then you just vote your self a raise but still dont pass a budget. How do I get a job where I can just vote myself a raise and not get anything done?

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