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(Chicago Sun Times) — Chicago voters could soon get to decide whether to strip banks and mortgage companies — key players in the foreclosure epidemic — of their long-standing exemption from the city’s real-estate transfer tax.

By a vote of 8-to-2, the City Council’s Finance Committee agreed today to put that resolution on the ballot, either on Nov. 2 or Feb. 22. Only after voters approve a referendum could the City Council vote to end the tax break.

Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th) championed the referendum resolution to pressure banks to negotiate more “loan modifications for homeowners,” instead of jumping to, what he called the “worst possible outcome” for homeowners and the city: foreclosure.

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