All posts by jacksonelliott2020

Taxes make Chicago real estate hard to sell

By Jackson Elliott
Medill Reports

Chicago’s high real estate prices and the lack of buyers might indicate a housing market bubble, one real estate agent said.

Anthony Zammit, a 17-year industry veteran and the CEO of Lofty Real Estate, said that the slow market might be a sign of over-inflated real estate prices, especially given that half of Illinois residents want to leave the state, according to a 2014 Gallup poll. Continue reading

Transportation group president says Rebuild Illinois Act is ‘long overdue’

By Jackson Elliott
Medill Reports

This year, Illinois will kick off road repairs, funded by the Rebuild Illinois Act, which Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed in 2018 to improve the state’s infrastructure. The act proposes $23 billion in spending on road repairs alone. The total budget of $41 billion will be partly funded by taxes on gas and vehicle registration. Illinois residents already pay more per capita for their roads compared to other Midwest states in the form of vehicle license fees, tire and gasoline taxes. Mike Sturino, the president and CEO of the industry group Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association, said the planned improvements are long overdue. The public administrator, attorney and land use planner spoke about why Illinois pays more for roads than surrounding states and the Illinois Exodus as well as the association’s lawsuit against Cook County for rerouting $250 million originally meant for road repair into other projects.

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Pritzker condemns corruption, celebrates economic gains

By Jackson Elliott
Medill Reports

Protecting corruption in Illinois government is “no longer acceptable,” Governor J.B. Pritzker said in his 2020 State of the State address to the Illinois legislature last Wednesday.

His remarks followed the guilty plea of former State Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) on Tuesday for corruption charges.

Lawmakers responded to his statement with applause that rapidly escalated into a standing ovation.

“It’s no longer enough to sit idle while under-the-table deals, extortion, or bribery persist,” the governor said. Continue reading

High Illinois taxes drive out business

By Jackson Elliott
Medill Reports

Scott Schnurr wanted to buy a fully equipped 30,100 square-foot building in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, but high property taxes convinced him to look for real estate elsewhere.

The building had stood empty for two years. If not for the taxes, it could have housed a hundred jobs for Schnurr’s water heater installation company, DRF Trusted Property Solutions.

The property taxes on the building were around fifty thousand dollars. “On a 10% profit, I’d have to do five hundred thousand dollars of business just to pay the taxes to be there,” the chief executive said. Continue reading