Property taxes concern Greek community

Local News

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Property taxes have hit the campus greek community hard — and it could impact you.

Officials with the Greek Alumni Board say high rises in Campustown have prompted a huge property tax increase for fraternity and sorority houses in Champaign. There’s a push to make Greek Houses exempt from property taxes. And there’s concern that with rising costs, fewer students could afford to join. If that happens there could be a drop in money they raise for groups around the community.

Once they’ve paid their dues, the organizations put their efforts into different philanthropy efforts– that includes organizations like the Make-A-Wish Foundation and CASA.

Fraternities and sororities in Champaign have seen a property tax increase of 100 to 300 percent. Because of that, they have to make sure they fill their house with people just to meet those costs. Greeks are nonprofits. They give members affordable housing and meals. It’s also considered the cheapest housing opportunity for students. 

From 2015 to 2016, Delta Upsilon has seen an 89 percent increase.”So we’re paying almost half of a 100,000 dollars year and that’s obviously taking affect on what we can do as a house and how much money we have to generate in order to keep this place still standing,”said Delta Upsilon President Irwin Bahthal. 

If the costs rise even more, some of the fraternities say they would have to do more fundraising just to be able to meet those needs. Now the Greek Alumni Corporation Board Association hopes the university will step in before it gets to that point. 

The Greek Alumni Board Association says they’re also concerned the high costs could mean more students will choose other schools instead of the U of I.

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