Post-Vote Battle Over Real Estate Transfer Tax

February 20, 2008

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A forty percent hike in Chicago's real-estate transfer tax won't go into effect until April, but there's already controversy over how the city aims to collect it.

Chicago's Revenue Department is drafting rules that clarify when home buyers have to pay.  For example - one idea's to pay the whole transfer tax at once, even when buyers purchase homes by installment.

Another's to have the city keep the tax even when a buyer forfeits a down payment and the deal's nixed.

5th Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston worries the revenue department is moving too fast.

HAIRSTON: It's very disheartening I would think for the average person, myself included, to see that they're just trying to find another way to suck more money out of people.

Alderman Hairston wants the city council to review the rules when they're complete. Chicago's Department of Revenue did not return a request for comment.

I'm Shawn Allee, Chicago Public Radio.