Tax Hikes Producing Less?
- Despite higher ridership, the CTA is leaking money due to higher fuel and labor costs, while losing out on expected revenue from the real estate transfer tax and from an increase to the local sales tax. Both increases were part of the bailout that averted massive service cuts this year.
Last January, the state legislature found new revenue for the CTA, Metra and Pace by increasing the sales tax in Cook and the collar counties by a quarter of a percent. Chicago increased the real estate transfer tax by 40 percent, for an expected $100 million in new annual revenue for the CTA.
But because of the real estate slump, the transfer tax is bringing in only about half of what was expected so far this year, according to Joe Costello, chief financial officer for the Regional Transportation Authority, which oversees the CTA, Metra and Pace.
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