As Alfred Hitchcock used to say . . .
Down in IL Capitol Springfield tomorrow, the IL House of Representatives debates diversion of the IL Gasoline Tax in the six-county Chicago Metro Area to provide a long-term solution for Transit Funding in and around Chicago and the suburbs - IL Counties of Cook, Lake, DuPage, Will, McHenry, and Kane. All area transit agencies - the CTA Bus and el, METRA Rail, and PACE Suburban Bus - would be impacted by the funding program.
This is relevant to not only Downtown Chicago Real Estate, but also Chicago Suburban residents as well - whether or not appropriate legislation is passed has a direct impact on train, bus, and el fares throughout the area. If fares are raised, and service cut back, more daily commuters will hit the roads each morning - and traffic is already way too busy around here. In fact, Chicago IL is second only to Los Angeles in average travel times - currently!
Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, and IL Governor Rod Blagojavech support the proposed measure, which is first being introduce in the House by Speaker Michael Madigan. However, the diversion of gas tax money would leave a budget shortfall for other state-funded programs, including Downstate IL road repair and construction projects.
Ideas for solving the shortfall have ranged from giving the OK to a Chicago Gambling Casino, to raising Cook County Sales Tax rates, to increasing the already-high Real Estate Transfer Tax in the City of Chicago. As you can imagine, these proposals have met fierce opposition, by Real Estate Professionals and Taxpayers alike.
Check our summary article on BlogChicagoHomes.com. The Illinois Association of Realtors, and their lobbying arm, discusses the legislation in their Quorum Call Online Newletter. Also view the story and a video clip with Mayor Daley's comments on the Chicago Tribune Website, in an article written today by Reporter Gary Washburn.
Watch for further developments!
Dean & Dean's Team Chicago