In 2015, Chicago imposed a nine percent tax on Netflix and PlayStations. In 2017, Chicago imposed a seven cent bag tax on every single plastic or paper bag used. In fact, Chicago is so thirsty for taxpayer dollars they imposed a five percent tax on bottled water. They even have a special additional tax for candy and soda.
In 2013, Forbes Magazine named Chicago the fourth most miserable city in the US. Coincidence? Maybe not.
New Transparent Tax Statistics
According to a new report from Truth in Accounting, residents of the Windy City are the most heavily taxed in nation, and it’s not a close contest. Below is a breakdown of the 10 US cities with the largest per capita taxpayer burden.
Chicago’s combined Taxpayer Burden: $119,110
New York City’s combined Taxpayer Burden: $85,600
Los Angeles’ combined Taxpayer Burden: $56,390
Philadelphia’s combined Taxpayer Burden: $50,120
San Jose’s combined Taxpayer Burden: $43,120
San Diego’s combined Taxpayer Burden: $35,410
Dallas’ combined Taxpayer Burden: $33,490
Houston’s combined Taxpayer Burden: $22,940
San Antonio’s combined Taxpayer Burden: $16,660
Phoenix’s combined Taxpayer Burden: $13,290
Most statistics don’t include underlying expenses not included in official reports. Taxpayers are responsible for paying for debts incurred by the government for schools, transit agencies, housing administrations, and more.
When all factors are accounted for, Chicago’s citizens actually carry a heavier burden than the people of New York City. And not just by a few pennies here or there, but by over $30,000 per taxpayer! As Lori Lightfoot, the recently elected mayor of Chicago, explained, "We live in one of the most taxed cities and the most taxed county, unfortunately, in the country."
Gold Medal in Tax Olympics
According to Chris Lentino of the Office of Illinois Policy,
In a comparative analysis of taxes and fees in the nation's top 15 cities, Chicago won first place more times than any other city. After analyzing 24 different taxes and fees—from those on cellphones, cigarettes, ridesharing and more—Chicago is leaps and bounds ahead of its competitors, with 10 No. 1 rankings.
If having the highest taxes were a competition, Chicago would be a clear winner. When a city takes its citizens money it is saying “we know how to spend your money better than you do.”
In reality, each individual is in the best position to choose how they would like to exchange their money for various goods and services. Taxes serve many different purposes, some more noble than others, but it’s abundantly clear that spending is pretty much out of control when citizens are taxed $119,110 on average in order to balance your budget.