SSA under committee review

Staff Writer

The City Council Committee on Finance will hear arguments for and against creating a Special Service Area (SSA) on 53rd Street.

The Finance committee will have a public meeting to discuss the creation of SSA 61, which would levy an additional property tax, along the 53rd Street business corridor and adjacent areas.

The meeting will take place at 10 a.m., Nov. 14, in Council Chambers, Room 201A, City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St.

The SSA’s initial suggested budget would be $264,508. It would be levied from 2013 through 2022. The tax rate would not exceed .95 percent of the equalized assessed value of a property.

The SSA would be located approximately along 53rd Street between Woodlawn Avenue and the alley east of Lake Park Avenue; the north side of 53rd Street from 1612 East 53rd Street to Hyde Park Boulevard; Lake Park Avenue between 5130 South Lake Park Avenue and 5500 South Lake Park Avenue; and Harper Avenue between 53rd and 52nd streets.

SSAs are additional property taxes within business corridors that a community imposes on itself. The community then uses those property taxes to attract new business, maintain and improve the streetscape, construction, security, parking and traffic management, promotion and advertising along with other expenses ultimately to improve the business corridor.

If the public opposes creating an SSA they can file a petition signed by at least 51 percent of the voters who live within the boundaries of the proposed area and 51 percent of the business owners. The petition must be filed within 60 days of the Finance Committee hearing.

The proposed area would include 125 separate property index numbers, the identifiers the City of Chicago uses to identify taxable properties.

In June, condo owners who live on the east side of the proposed area balked that they would be paying additional property taxes without seeing any benefits and without representation on the SSA council.