* I went over this topic with subscribers earlier this morning. Turns out, the Sun-Times also had much the same information…
Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants the Illinois General Assembly to reduce the effective tax rate on a Chicago casino to 45 percent, have the city and state “own the license” and authorize a graduated transfer tax that would apply to commercial real estate sales.
The mayor floated those plans during a private meeting over the weekend with members of the Chicago delegation. […]
“The casino [plan] proposed to have the city and the state own the license and the casino be operated by a private vendor. That’s a difference. We’ll have to see how people feel about that issue. I can’t predict how people will react,” [Illinois House Majority Leader Greg Harris (D-Chicago)] said Monday. […]
Lightfoot’s decision to take on the concept of city and state ownership — amid a burgeoning corruption scandal that has spread from Chicago and the south suburbs to Springfield — comes as a bit of a surprise. Many expected her to keep a complicated subject simple and confine her request to the tax structure.
*** UPDATE *** Greg Hinz…
Sen. Terry Link, D-Waukegan, is the chief sponsor of the bill approved in the spring that authorized new casinos in Chicago and other locations. He told me he potentially could vote for Lightfoot’s plan, but doubts most of his colleagues or Pritzker will go along.
“This idea is not new. This was floated in the spring. The governor was adamantly opposed,” Link said. “He told me that he did not want city ownership in any regard.” Asked if the votes are there to win approval in the fall veto session that begins Oct. 28, Link replied, “I don’t think so. I don’t think a single Republican would vote for that.”
I tried to reach Link yesterday, but was unsuccessful. Drat.
* From the governor’s office…
After the casino feasibility study was released in mid-August, the Governor was willing to give the new city administration time to develop alternative proposals for the Chicago casino. We understand that a number of lawmakers now have been briefed on these proposals, and we look forward to reviewing them after we are briefed on the details of the proposals. The Governor remains open to a number of approaches for making the Chicago casino successful, but with regard to public ownership, our administration would need to ensure that the challenges of public ownership are fully understood and addressed.
* Back to Greg…
That [”after we are briefed on the details of the proposals”] remark points to another unusual aspect of Team Lightfoot’s handling of this matter. In normal Springfield etiquette, mayors brief all the major players, including the governor, before walking back-bench lawmakers through a proposal. In Lightfoot’s case, she briefed Chicago lawmakers and, separately, Senate President John Cullerton but not Pritzker, though I’m told the mayor has had some preliminary conversations with the governor.
Yep. There’s definitely tension between the two offices.