Mayor Daley’s Empty Property Tax Rhetoric

-By Warner Todd Huston

Paul Kroenke wrote a great piece on the empty bravado of Mayor Richard Daley and his populist claims that he won’t raise property taxes. Kroenke pretty much shows that because of the tax zones that Daley has set up across the city, he really can’t raise property taxes even if he wanted to do so.

Back on October 14, Daley played the populist by claiming that he was ruling out property tax hikes.

“You can’t [raise property taxes] … That would hurt people tremendously,” Daley said.

“You can only take so much. People are being laid off on a daily basis. People are getting cut back. They don’t have the money anymore. Government has to look at itself and find out what they can live with and what are their priorities. Simple as that.”

Don’t you feel all warm and fuzzy inside already?

It’s not an easy story to relate because of how convoluted the legal situation is, but Kroenke does fairly well putting it all out there. What the final take seems to be is that Daley has created what are called Tax Increment Financing zones across 30% of the city where property taxes are frozen at current rates for a 24-year period so, as it turns out, he can’t raise property taxes there anyway.

Worse, the reason these zones have been created is to fill a slush fund for Mayor Daley to use at his discretion. This slush fund also makes the lie to Daley’s claims at caring about the poor taxpayer in Chicago.

Anyway, the whole mess is typical Daley misdirection with the real direction, as always, pointing straight to Daley’s pocket. Take a gander at Kroenke Examiner piece.

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as,,,,, Human Events Magazine,, and the New Media Journal, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events and is currently the co-host of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Conservatism” heard on BlogTalkRadio. Warner is also the editor of the Cook County Page for

He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on He is also the owner and operator of Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston

Fair Use: This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my efforts to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. I believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research, educational, or satirical purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site/blog for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Copyright Publius Forum 2001