Emanuel property tax exemption could reap political benefits even if it fails

Hal Dardick and Bill Ruthhart –Chicago Tribune

Emanuel’s idea is to create a new exemption that would shield the owners of homes worth $250,000 or less from paying the city more in property taxes as a result of the mayor’s hike, said a source familiar with the proposal but not authorized to speak publicly. For more expensive homes, the property tax bill would go up, but less than it otherwise would have without the exemption, the source said.

But to do it, Emanuel needs help from Springfield, which has ground to a halt amid partisan bickering over the state budget and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s pro-business, union-weakening agenda. Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton are working with Emanuel on the property tax exemption details, legislative aides said Monday.

Even if the measure should pass, it’s unlikely Rauner would agree to it. The governor wants a two-year, statewide property tax freeze, and signing off on Emanuel’s plan for an exemption would be akin to enabling a massive property tax hike by providing political cover for the mayor. read more…….