Building Owners Say Property Taxes Deterring New Downtown Business

June 9, 2006

A group of real estate professionals says Chicago isn't doing enough to draw businesses downtown. A new study by Roosevelt University finds that average property taxes per square foot for downtown office buildings are higher than taxes in New York and Los Angeles.

Ron Vukas, executive vice president of the Building Owners and Managers Association, says Chicago's tax system isn't working for property owners.

"Chicago's office building inventory has the capacity to accommodate more new businesses and more new jobs. But those businesses and jobs are not materializing which results in a significantly lost opportunity cost," he said.

Vukas says Illinois relies too much on property taxes to fund public schools.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley says a property tax increase will help balance the schools districts' budget.