SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Is Lollapalooza stiffing the state?

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2012

* The always valuable Jim DeRogatis fills us in

Joining Commissioner Bridget Gainer’s initiative examining Lollapalooza’s exemption from the Cook County amusement tax, Illinois Rep. Sara Feigenholtz is pushing the state legislature to probe whether the three-day concert is paying its share of state sales taxes on everything sold in Grant Park.

Although several sources, including Gainer, have said that the massive music festival uses its partnership with the not-for-profit Parkways Foundation to avoid paying the 6.25-percent sales tax, this reporter has not been able to confirm how it receives an exemption. Feigenholtz said on Friday that she intends to get an answer, and to seriously question whether a waiver is warranted. […]

Illinois law states that to qualify for an exemption from the sales tax, “Your organization must be not-for-profit and organized and operated exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, or governmental purposes.” Lollapalooza, which is co-owned by politically well-connected Texas concert promoters C3 Presents and Hollywood talent agency William Morris Endeavor (run by Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s brother, Ari) clearly is a for-profit venture.

Last year, the festival gave Parkways more than $2 million for park improvements. But its gross revenues were more than $21 million, and it did not pay the 5-percent city amusement tax, the 1.5-percent county amusement tax, or any fee to rent and close Grant Park for much of the summer.


* Nobody seems to know how this happened or why. Background

Although Lollapalooza is very much a for-profit event, it partners to apply for all of its licenses with the non-profit Parkways Foundation, a favorite group of former Mayor Daley and his late wife, Maggie. A long-term sweetheart deal negotiated in part by the festival’s attorney and lobbyist, Daley nephew Mark Vanecko, exempts it from paying the 5 percent city amusement tax and the 1.5 percent county amusement tax, as well as the state sales tax levied on every other major event in Chicago—even though the municipal code clearly states that every big concert and sporting event must pay what’s owed unless 100 percent of its profits go to charity. […]

The loss in sales tax could be even more substantial, Gainer said, since local government has no idea what that cut of souvenir, food, and alcohol sales would even be. Parkways applies for the festival’s liquor license, but as this blog has reported, actual sales are handled by a corporation co-owned by Texas promoters C3 Presents and local bar owner Kevin Killerman, a client and friend of Vanecko.

* More

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said he would ask the City Council to appoint a “third-party, independent” negotiator to broker talks with Lollapalooza and determine whether to eliminate the music festival’s multi-million dollar amusement tax exemption.

The hands-off stance is necessitated by the involvement of Emanuel’s brother, Hollywood super-agent Ari Emanuel. Ari Emanuel is the CEO of William Morris Endeavor, which co-owns Lollapalooza.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Hank - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 9:13 am:

    * Nobody seems to know how this happened or why.
    Daley favorite
    Daley nephew
    Rahm brother
    It’s all legit

  2. - Wendsicia - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 9:19 am:

    Why is the tune “It’s a Family Affair” by Sly & the Family Stone running through my mind after reading this post?

  3. - amalia - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 9:23 am:

    Hank is spot on.

  4. - Plutocrat03 - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 9:25 am:

    Nuttin’ to see here, move along….


  5. - MrJM - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 9:27 am:

    In the 1991 press kit for the original tour, Lollapalooza was given alternate definitions: “”Huge and great.” and “A big red lollipop.”

    The Grant Park Lollapalooza combines the two: It’s a “giant sucker’s deal”!

    – MrJM

  6. - 3rd Generation Chicago Native - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 9:30 am:

    Every year I go to Taste of Chicago, they would not let anyone picnic on the grass in Grant Park last summer. To keep the grass and grounds in good condition. I have been to Grant Park after Taste of Chicago many times, and there was barely any damage done because of this event.

    But right after Lollapalooza, Grant Park, and the Petrillo Music shell areas were so tore up. There were bushes uprooted in Grant Park, much of the grass was gone and just patches of dirt everywhere, very little grass left. At the Petrillo music shell area there no grass anywhere. I was there the day a couple of news stations, one of them Spanish speaking was there on the Petrillow Music Shell grounds with the dirt in the background.
    The area was then roped off the remainder of the good weather for repairs. It was a horrific disaster. And no one was able to enjoy Grant Park after this.
    And to find out we did not get all the tax revenue? Pretty upsetting.

  7. - Dooley Dudright - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 9:57 am:

    EVERYBODY is talkin’ these days about Tammany men growin’ rich on graft, but nobody thinks of drawin’ the distinction between honest graft and dishonest graft. There’s all the difference in the world between the two. Yes, many of our men have grown rich in politics. I have myself. I’ve made a big fortune out of the game, and I’m gettin’ richer every day, but I’ve not gone in for dishonest graft - blackmailin’ gamblers, saloonkeepers, disorderly people, etc. - and neither has any of the men who have made big fortunes in politics.

    There’s an honest graft, and I’m an example of how it works. I might sum up the whole thing by sayin’: “I seen my opportunities and I took ‘em.”

    – New York state senator George Washington Plunkitt (1905)

  8. - shore - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 9:58 am:

    Rahm said he would “review it” a year ago. I trust the city council even less to appoint a “3rd party independent negotiator”.

  9. - Dan Shields, Springfield, IL - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 10:03 am:

    Imagine that a sweetheart tax dodging deal in Chicago. The State and local governments should sue these tax dodgers for the lost revenue. Not like the State of Illinois could use it or anything……..

  10. - Soccertease - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 10:11 am:

    At the State Fair and other festivals, not-for-profits owe-and pay-sales tax because they are in competition with others. Ask the Revenue folks, they will verify this. I think people confuse sales taxes with income taxes that not-for-profits do not pay.

  11. - Soccertease - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 10:19 am:

    Forgot to add that not-for-profits can PURCHASE (e.g., equipt and machinery) sales tax free but not SELL sales tax free.

  12. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 10:34 am:

    Hey, what’s good for the machine is good for the city.


    Because the machine says so, dat’s why.

  13. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 10:37 am:

    “Nobody seems to know how this happened or why.”

    Sure we do. And so does Bridget Gainer, who was a Chicago Park District senior staffer at the time. The answer is Laura Foxgrover.

    Also, ask her about the Park Grill contract negotiations, during which she had the owner’s baby. No confict there, I’m sure…

  14. - Bitterman - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 10:53 am:

    Dooly Dud, brilliant!

  15. - Dirty Red - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 11:24 am:

    Weren’t there other cities trying to woo Lolla?

  16. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 1:12 pm:

    This seems like an appropriate time to point out that Lollapalooza is illegal.

    The Illinois Supreme Court’s three Mongomery Ward decisions, trumpeted by the Chicago Tribune and others during the children’s museum debate, specifically prohibit using Grant Park for events “to which the public is not admitted for free.”

    Back in the day, they used to charge admission to circuses and all kinds of crazy stuff in Grant Park.

    The Supreme Court put a stop to that in perpituity.

  17. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 1:30 pm:

    Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. SAME AS IT EVER WAS.

  18. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 1:32 pm:

    Remember when some thought Daley was indispensable?

  19. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 1:58 pm:


    Good one.

  20. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 3:03 pm:

    Into the blue again. After the money’s gone.

  21. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 3:07 pm:

    Lollapalooza may be the biggest, but it ain’t the only one. Tons of exemptions approved, millions of dollars waived. Millions.

  22. - Tom - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 4:54 pm:

    I wonder if the $2 million received by the park district is money used to restore Grant Park to a usable fashion. Last year, it took them months to get it back into a state people could actually use it. I think someone needs to look into it. No way should a park be closed for half the summer because they want to use if for 3 days.

  23. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 6:22 pm:

    @Tom - You’re right. We should bill them for the whole three months.

  24. - Glass half full - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 7:26 pm:

    Hmmmmm……did Toni Preckwinkle vote for this exemption as a member of the city council?

  25. - South of the Loop - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 7:32 pm:

    I concur with Tom.

    Also 3rdGen is right it was like a disaster struck. I was embarrased if anyone visited Chicago for the first time, and during prime vacation season and went to Grant Park. All they would have seen is this tore up mess. Or if someone came back to Chicago for a visit they would have thought the city was broke and unable to keep up it’s parks.

  26. - Soccertease - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 9:23 pm:

    Rich, hope you follow up on this one. Dept of Revenue should be able to collect all sales taxes due from Lallapalooza since they are not tax exempt for sales tax. Rep. Sara Feigenholtz should persist until this is done.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* This just in... $12 million contribution to Leader Durkin, $2 million to Munger
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Duckworth doesn't play in Peoria
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Let's be careful out there
* Question of the day
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Political events calendar
* *** UPDATED x1 *** What today's cyber attack could mean for election day
* Rewriting history
* Army Corps of Engineers taking back state park
* Fire everything!!!
* More horrible pension news
* More flowery Madigan praise from Bradley
* Because... Madigan!
* Looking on the dark side
* Lawyers: Mayor Emanuel is "not a policymaker for the city"
* Duckworth has huge cash advantage
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition and a campaign roundup
* Good morning!
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...






Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* T-Mobile is charging a penny a minute for “out-of-plan” numbers
* Over 100,000 iPhone 7 sales in Korea on Friday, LG V20 up 20 percent in a month
* Blass leaks Long Island project, the Huawei Mate 9 Pro
* AT&T buys Time Warner for $85 billion
* Let’s chat Nintendo Switch and LeReactions to LeEco Le Pro 3 | #PNWeekly 223
* Should Microsoft give up on Windows 10 Mobile?
* Google makes it easy to get screen replacements for the Pixel and Pixel XL

* Getz to oversee White Sox Minor Leagues
* Getz to oversee White Sox Minor Leagues
* International draft stands to benefit White Sox
* Davidson reflects on 'whirlwind' 2016 season
* Starting pitcher rankings: White Sox have four of them
* Podcast: 2016 Chicago White Sox Infield Review
* White Sox Rumors: Sox hire Chris Getz as new Director Of Player Dev...


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Rauner administration awards 1100 non-union wor.....
* Editorial: Rauner gets an A for closing F House.....

* The Latest: President Obama, White Sox fan, cheers on Cubs
* Pipeline construction provides boost to businesses in Iowa
* Ideal rain, temperatures mean good Illinois pumpkin crop
* Ideal rain, temperatures mean good Illinois pumpkin crop
* Elk Grove ESL instructor named Illinois Teacher of the Year
* Elk Grove ESL instructor named Illinois Teacher of the Year
* Overjoyed Chicago Cubs fans turn attention to World Series
* Chicago officer shoots man after traffic stop encounter
* Chicago officer shoots man after traffic stop encounter
* Pipeline construction provides boost to businesses in Iowa

* Feds end lease with Illinois for state park, citing neglect
* Statehouse Insider: Tomorrow's a new day; in Illinois, that may not be good
* Cook County lawyer who posed as judge criminally charged
* 1,100 non-union state workers getting $3,016 bonuses
* Springfield veteran honored for volunteer work
* Central Illinois soldier killed in Afghanistan
* Rauner administration awarding more than $3 million in bonuses to non-union workers
* SIU injury-prevention program reinstated through stopgap budget
* Survey: 386 state jobs could relocate to Springfield
* SIU injury-prevention program reinstated through state's stopgap spending plan

* Like our roundup? Share it around.
* AT&T buying Time Warner in $86 billion deal
* It's official: AT&T buys Time Warner for $85 billion
* There's a new way to replace old gas mains—but not in Chicago
* Is Neapolitan's Kelly Golden the new reigning queen of fashion?

* Man critically wounded in Hermosa shooting
* Far-flung Cubs fans just as fanatical as Chicagoans
* Man critically wounded in Wrightwood shooting
* Man in custody after 2 shot in Englewood
* Toy companies break down barriers to be more inclusive
* Prince Albert buys Philadelphia home of mom Grace Kelly
* DJ Khaled and fiancée welcome baby boy on Snapchat
* Tyler Perry’s ‘Madea’ tops Cruise’s ‘Jack Reacher’ sequel
* Man shot in leg in Lawndale
* First-and-10: Bears still need Jay Cutler … for now

* 1 dead, 10 wounded in Sunday shootings
* In Mexico's murder capital, signs of gold rush are emerging
* On Nov. 9, let's forget Donald Trump happened
* Brent Seabrook, Michal Kempny work to overcome language barrier on ice
* Cubs World Series tickets averaging more than Super Bowl tickets, analysts say
* 13 dead, 31 injured after tour bus and semi-truck crash in California
* Brother Rice, Loyola could meet again in Class 8A football quarterfinals
* Even the Bulls are impressed by Cubs' winning ways
* Four killed, 11 wounded in citywide shootings
* Jason Hammel, Matt Szczur not playing but feel like part of Cubs' success

The widget AQL4JYGHIY powered by Feed Informer does not exist.

* Our Opinion: Leslie Munger endorsed for Illinois comptroller
* Feds end lease with Illinois for state park, citing neglect
* Our Opinion: With poor choices, Clinton gets nod for president
* Statehouse Insider: Tomorrow's a new day; in Illinois, that may not be good
* Bernard Schoenburg: DelGiorno apologizes for backer's vulgar Facebook post
* Cooler temperatures lead to greater needs
* Women for Women tops half million mark
* Cook County lawyer who posed as judge criminally charged
* 1,100 non-union state workers getting $3,016 bonuses
* Springfield veteran honored for volunteer work

* Fire reported in Champaign
* BU seniors hope to flood South Peoria in light
* Doctors in Recital benefits music therapy, hospice care
* Mayfair Park Halloween Parade
* Attention Cubs Fans: Share your stories!
* Work crews help Moline firefighters reach building fire
* READER CALLOUT - Submit your Veterans Day activities
* Submit your Veterans Day activities
* Scarecrow Shenanigans brings families to museum
* LIVE! Selection Saturday

* Vernon Hills man, 29, identified as motorcyclist killed in Buffalo Grove crash
* For Chicago Cubs' Epstein, vision accomplished
* Chicago Cubs great Williams thinking of Banks, Santo
* Motorcyclist killed in Buffalo Grove crash
* USC suspends senior LB Jabari Ruffin indefinitely

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Photos: State's Attorney Glasgow, Senator ......

* Should A Stroke Disqualify A Candidate? - ......

* Chicago #Cubs championship history #postseason
* What a difference, a year makes
* Go #Cubs go #flythew #postseason
* Morning Minute: NAR identifies top home buyer and seller trends over last 35 years
* Illinois REALTORS® give Rep. McAuliffe IE support
* They've Got The Power, They've Got The Speed, To Be The Best In The National League
* EXTRA: It’s about time!!!
* Walls closing in on Rhonda Crawford. What should the sanction be?
* Gooseberry Playlot Nears Completion On Malden

* Illinois EPA Sponsors Interactive Environmental Education Event with Riverton Elementary School - Riverton Third and Fourth Graders “Dive In!” to Celebrate the Environment
* Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Honors Veteran Mr. George Pempek
* Illinois Partners with State of Telangana, India to Strengthen Smart State Initiatives - State to state agreement to accelerate opportunities and service to citizens
* Illinois EPA Announces Vehicle Emissions Testing Network Updates - New Contract to Offer More Efficient, Less Expensive Tests
* Annual Training Underway For Gas Station Owners, Service Technicans

      Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller