Board of Elections appeals judge's decision on Chicago real estate transfer tax referendum

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Board of Elections appeals Chicago real estate tax referendum decision
As early voting continues, the city and Board of Elections filed appeals of the Bring Chicago Home real estate transfer tax referendum decision.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago's Board of Elections is appealing a ruling to the controversial Bring Chicago Home referendum.

That decision was announced before the Board of Elections meeting Tuesday morning.

Last week, Cook County's chief judge ruled the question on the ballot was vague and unconstitutional.

The city already said it's appealing that decision.

READ MORE: Homeless advocates speak out in support of Bring Chicago Home referendum; attack ad critiques

The referendum was asking voters to raise the real estate transfer tax on home sales over $1 million, while lowering it for those that sell for less.

For now, the question remains on the March 19 primary ballot, but the votes will not be tallied.

RELATED: Chicago City Council approves putting Bring Chicago Home referendum on March 2024 ballot

The Building Owners and Managers Association, or BOMA, had sued the Chicago Board of Elections to knock the referendum off the ballot.

The measure would have raised the transfer tax from its current flat rate of 0.75% to 2% for properties valued at more than $1 million and 3% for properties valued at more than $1.5 million.

It aimed to raise $100 million to help people experiencing homelessness.

It's not clear how long the appeals process will take, but the courts are well aware of the primary, which is now just three weeks away.

With more than 1,000 votes already cast, and the question still appearing on the ballots now, what are voters to think or do?

A spokesperson for the Chicago Board of Elections issued a statement on Saturday, saying, "Any previous votes for the referendum are sequestered and will not be counted at this time. This is subject to change by future court order. "

Meanwhile, supporters of the referendum are not giving up.

"The referendum is still on the ballot; no one should stop voting in favor of the referendum," attorney Ed Mullen said.