* On Sunday, Senate President John Cullerton dusted off his plan to use Chicago’s amusement tax growth to help finance upgrades outside Wrigley Field…
The multi-million dollar proposal would upgrade Wrigley’s creaky creature comforts for both fans and players. The Ricketts family, owners of the Cubs, said they would not alter the fundamental appearance of the historic ballpark.
The idea fell flat in Springfield this past winter. The Ricketts family and their lobbyists tried to push it through in the same lame duck session that approved a 67 percent increase in the Illinois income tax.
In a Fox Chicago Sunday taping, Cullerton said that he thinks the measure has better prospects in the current spring session. He hopes the General Assembly would vote to approve it by Memorial Day.
“There should be some conditions,” Cullerton said. “First of all, Mr. Ricketts has to come up with half the money himself. He should make sure that he comes up with that first. If there’s money to be spent inside the park, that’s where he should spend his money.”
* But Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel is a no-go…
Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday he wants to find a way to save 97-year-old Wrigley Field, but the taxpayer-financed plan being floated anew by Cubs’ chairman Tom Ricketts is a “non-starter.” […]
After striking out with Mayor Daley and Gov. Quinn, Ricketts had hoped for a different outcome with Emanuel.
But during a post-election meeting with Ricketts, Emanuel said he reiterated the “healthy skepticism” he expressed during the campaign about using taxpayer dollars to renovate Wrigley.
In other words, it’s back to the drawing board for Ricketts.
“They know my position from the past. It was an informational meeting. It was a short meeting. … And I let them know that, if all we did was re-package old ideas, that was a non-starter,” he said.
* Meanwhile, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle stated the obvious yesterday. Rahm Emanuel’s “luxury tax” is dead in the water…
With Emanuel at her side, Preckwinkle said she likes the concept, but believes the Illinois General Assembly is unlikely to act.
“My understanding from my conversations with the people in Springfield is that the legislature there is sort of done on the tax issue,” Preckwinkle said. “And having raised taxes on individuals and businesses at the beginning of this year, that’s all that anyone can expect coming out of Springfield.”
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