A measure that would add a 1 percent tax to the sale of any Chicago property worth $750,000 or more to fund an effort to replace lead pipes in Chicago homes is not dead yet, Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36) said Tuesday.
The measure — which was hotly debated but not called for a vote at Monday’s Finance Committee meeting — will be back on the committee’s agenda at its meeting scheduled for Nov. 13, according to Villegas’ office.
Even if approved by aldermen, the measure needs to win a referendum, which supporters are trying to include on the Feb. 26 municipal election ballot.
“The issue of lead in our pipes touches every Chicagoan,” Villegas said. “Putting a referendum on the ballot in February will give us all a voice.”
The measure would establish a new transfer tax rate of $8.75 for every $500 of the sale price for properties sold for more than $750,000 to be paid by the buyer of the real estate, according to the measure.
The real estate lobby pushed back on the proposal, arguing anticipated revenues would fall short and sap equity from sellers.The funds raised by the lead abatement transfer tax would be earmarked for a special fund, which would pay to retrofit and remediate the city’s water delivery pipes and infrastructure, according to the measure.
Ald. Scott Waguespack (32) estimated it would cost $4,000 to $7,000 per house to replace service lines that run from the water main to the home, and between $1.2 and $2.1 billion citywide.