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A city lease tax?

Wednesday, Apr 9, 2014

* Sneed has the scoop

Sneed hears rumbles that a City Council proposal to levy a lease tax on office buildings may be in the mix of suggestions to restore two of the city’s pension funds to fiscal health. […]

“The downtown real estate interests lobbied long and hard against it and won [during the Jane Byrne years], but it could bring in tens of millions of dollars to offset the upcoming $600 million bill to stabilize police and fire pension funds, which don’t have enough assets to cover their liabilities,” the source added.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s pitch for a City Council ordinance to levy an additional $250 million in property taxes is going to be a tough vote with anticipated artillery pointed at Emanuel by Aldermen Bob Fioretti (2nd), Scott Waguespack (32nd) and Brendan Reilly (42nd).

“The mayor needs to get the tax to solve the city’s fiscal problems off the back of property owners and figure out a mix of non-property tax revenue sources to get this ordinance passed,” the source said.

* I kinda doubt that this idea will bear much fruit

The governor acknowledged the need for additional revenue to bolster the city’s pension system. But the kind of revenue Quinn discussed Tuesday may not be music to Emanuel’s ears.

“I think it should be a focus on the tax code and giving a full review of all these loopholes,” Quinn said, while declining to offer specifics. “I said yesterday, very clearly, we need to relieve the property tax burden, and I’m committed to that.”

The Tribune’s article called the idea “an old standby that has failed to get traction.” Correct.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


9 Comments
  1. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Apr 9, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    yep, populist pats old playlist — close those loopholes. hasnt worked yet. seven weeks left in session, yeah, lets review the entire tax code.


  2. - funny guy - Wednesday, Apr 9, 14 @ 10:01 am:

    Sell O’Hare–it should bring in $8-10 billion (if Midway can get $2 billion). Per federal law, operating O’Hare CANNOT provide any revenue to the City, so its not like parking meters. After you sell it, the City’s workforce that does O’Hare work can go to work for the private operator–reducing the City’s future pension obligation.


  3. - fed up - Wednesday, Apr 9, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    time to get that casino up and running down at the Old Post office, put video gaming at O’hare and Midway, bite the bullet and legalize and tax weed.


  4. - Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, Apr 9, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    Has the mayor had a tough vote yet and will this really be tough? While I generally agree with them, Fioretti and Waguespack don’t exactly lead large voting blocs. Rahm could count all the votes they control with his right hand.


  5. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Apr 9, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    === seven weeks left in session, yeah, lets review the entire tax code ===

    Piece of cake.


  6. - A guy... - Wednesday, Apr 9, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    ==== Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, Apr 9, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    Has the mayor had a tough vote yet and will this really be tough? While I generally agree with them, Fioretti and Waguespack don’t exactly lead large voting blocs. Rahm could count all the votes they control with his right hand.====

    LOL. Is that 4.5 votes?
    To the post: A “lease” tax? Great for business when we’re competing with other cities, eh? The only way to do this is to run up the middle with your tackles doing what they’re supposed to do. There’s no more room for a razzle-dazzle play here. The Dems get very squeamish when they raise their own taxes. There’s no pretty ending to this one. It’s shaping up as CTU v. City Residents. The undercard was passed yesterday.


  7. - Chris - Wednesday, Apr 9, 14 @ 11:35 am:

    “a full review of all these loopholes,” Quinn said, while declining to offer specifics”

    So, “waste, fraud and abuse”? Brilliant, PQ. Why hasn’t anyone else thought of that?

    “It’s shaping up as CTU v. City Residents.”

    Bahahaha. It’s shaping up as Police & Fire against city residents. The PABF funding deficit is the same size as the CTPF’s, and the Fire deficit is about 50% of that. And CPS has already been actively working on cutting the ‘pension eligible’ headcount (ie charters), and has the Tier 2 caps in place.


  8. - Jake From Elwood - Wednesday, Apr 9, 14 @ 12:21 pm:

    Let me tell you how it will be.
    There’s one for you, nineteen for me.
    Cause I am the Tax Man. Yeah I am the Tax Man.

    If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street. (parking meters, tolls)
    If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat. (property taxes, lease taxes, entertainment taxes)
    If you get too cold, I’ll tax your heat. (utility taxes)
    If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet. (just wait)

    And you’re working for no one but me…
    George Harrison had it right, no?


  9. - fed up - Wednesday, Apr 9, 14 @ 1:27 pm:

    Chris,

    Just so you know headcounts at police & fire are down since Rahm took over. Over 1000 less police, also police & Fire hired since 2012 are in Tier 2 pensions. So when your getting robbed and waiting for the police remeber Rahm fiscal plan


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Gonna be a light day here
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* Yesterday's blog posts

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