* Replace your communications director, go on vacation and then leak the news that you want the General Assembly to allow you to impose a service tax and a real estate transfer tax. Interesting choices…
Mayor Lori Lightfoot plans to ask state lawmakers to help Chicago dig out of a $1 billion hole — by empowering the city to tax high-end professional services and raise the transfer tax on big-ticket home sales [over $1 million], City Hall sources said Monday. […]
Sources said the mayor is prepared to portray those two local taxes as the only alternative to a dreaded property tax increase she wants desperately to avoid after former Mayor Rahm Emanuel doubled the city’s levy.
John Patterson, a spokesman for Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago), said the veto session is still two months away and it’s “premature to start speculating” on Chicago’s needs.
Patterson would say only that the Senate president is “eager to work with” Lightfoot and has “always tried to be helpful” to the city — but, he added: “These issues would be a heavy lift in Springfield.” […]
[House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said]: “I just don’t see my caucus embracing either of those two concepts…Our caucus believes that we’ve placed enough taxes and fees upon homeowners and businesses large and small throughout the state.”
I’ve asked the governor’s office for a response. I don’t think they were briefed in advance of this leak.
Also, I’m hearing that the mayor wants to lengthen the pension payment ramp. She’d need GA approval to do that as well.
*** UPDATE *** Pretty tame response from Emily Bittner at the governor’s office…
The governor is committed to creating an environment in the state where all cities can thrive, because Illinois succeeds when its cities succeed. The administration looks forward to working with stakeholders on a productive veto session for communities throughout Illinois, including Chicago.