Residents protest property tax hikes in Pilsen, Chicago


Residents within the metropolis’s fast-growing Latino communities have seen a number of steep property tax hikes within the metropolis, and protesters took their frustrations to the streets Friday with a caravan that began at Pilsen’s Dvorak Park and ended on the Cook dinner County constructing.

Pat Gonzalez, who was born and raised within the neighborhood, stated her property tax invoice on the three-unit condo constructing she owns in Pilsen has tripled this 12 months. He stated he’ll probably have to lift the hire on his constructing, to not make a revenue, however simply to pay the invoice.

“Builders, gentrifiers, if you wish to name them, they’re charging a lot increased rents,” Gonzalez stated. “We have misplaced 11,000 individuals, Latino households, as a result of they can not afford to dwell right here anymore, and now this is sort of a one-two punch, like they’ve discovered a option to drive individuals to promote who cannot pay their taxes.”

Pilsen and the remainder of the twenty fifth Ward noticed a median property tax enhance of 46%, far steeper than every other Chicago neighborhood, based on protest organizers.

Gonzalez attended the protest Friday along with her cousin, Jacqueline Negrete, additionally a longtime member of the Pilsen neighborhood, and stated not solely was such a steep enhance “ridiculous,” however the added curiosity, which is adjusted by day, not month, is extra makes it an enormous drawback. .

“We anticipate to pay the taxes,” Negrete stated. “What does that say? What two issues are you able to depend on? Dying and taxes. We wish to have our parks, we wish to clear our streets, we wish to gather our rubbish. We would like these items, however not like this.”

People march in a caravan down 18th Street in Pilsen to the Cook County Building to protest property taxes on Dec. 30, 2022.
Organizer Laura Paz gathers with Pilsen residents and activists from the Pilsen Coalition of Community Organizations for a rally at the Cook County Building to protest property tax increases on December 30, 2022.

In its annual evaluation of all 1.8 million property tax payments, Cook dinner County Treasurer Maria Pappas’ workplace discovered that Latino communities noticed the very best jumps, whereas payments in lots of black neighborhoods on the South and West Sides fell sharply. Taxes on the North Lakeshore rose sooner than anyplace else within the metropolis.

Friday’s crowd consisted of a number of dozen Pilsen residents and supporters and neighborhood organizations. The group gathered on the park, 1119 W. Cullerton St., round 11 a.m. earlier than about 20 automobiles lined in protest indicators and flags drove by way of the neighborhood and paraded to the county constructing, 118 N. Clark St., the place they held a information convention. convention.

Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez, twenty fifth, spoke on the county constructing Friday afternoon, principally in Spanish. His workplace organized the protest together with organizations together with the Pilsen Alliance, Illinois Alliance for Retired People, Metropolitan Tenants Group, My Villita Neighbors, Mientras Haya Amor Hay Esperanza, Folks’s Response Community and Universidad Standard.

In an earlier assertion, Sigcho-Lopez stated: “We encourage owners to make funds by (December) 30, the property tax fee deadline. “We’ll battle for the following 14 months to make sure that owners don’t lose their houses to the unfair stroke of the pen at a scrap sale. No possibility will probably be off the desk.”

The council is asking for adjustments within the state legislature to make in a single day property tax will increase of 25% unlawful, in addition to a moratorium on late fee charges and fines.

“Earlier this month, greater than 500 small residence house owners got here collectively to debate growing property taxes in the neighborhood of Pilsen,” Sigcho-Lopez stated in a press release. “We nonetheless haven’t got concrete options from our chosen ones.”

Juan Manuel Girón owns Girón Books, a Spanish-language bookstore in the neighborhood, and stated his property tax enhance was “outrageous and unfair hastily.”

“I do not know what the following chapter will probably be,” he stated. “Loans, strains of credit score. To be sincere, it is unimaginable.”

He stated Pilsen is “a really stunning place that occurred organically, so generally it appears like we’re being punished for creating the material that’s the neighborhood.”


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