Why is Mayor Daley protecting Old Navy from taxes and neighborhood folks in Old Town?

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Some aldermen want to set a "pubic safety assessment" tax on thriving downtown businesses that make loads of money — which I assume would take some of the tax burden neighborhood folks worried about skyrocketing property tax bills, Fran Spielman reports from City Hall.

And what does Mayor Daley say about it?

"I think that's disaster."


The mayor goes on to offer up a suggested legal challenge for businesses that would protest — "selective legislation" he calls it. And goes on to say that every high-rise in the city — commercial and residential alike — would have to pay 40 cents-per-square foot tax on commercial spaces more than 5,000 square feet.

"If it's good for the goose, if it's good for [downtown], then it's good for all of the neighborhoods," Daley says.

Again, WHAT?

Businesses that benefit from Loop beautification projects (read Daley's flower boxes and fancy, super expensive light poles), the loads of cops and traffic control folks, streets and sanitation workers picking up cigarette buts on every block should gladly pay a bit more in taxes.

What our Monarch forgets is that downtown businesses don't vote. Neighborhood folks do. Protecting Old Navy over folks in Old Town is just ridiculous.

Who does Daley think he is, Todd Stroger?

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Hizzoner has a point. If you start taxing businesses too much that affects their bottom line. As everyone knows, business owners aren't in business to lose money. They could end up moving their business somewhere else and taking their revenue stream with them. As more businesses do that it has a significant economic impact on the City--less revenue, less jobs, vacant spaces, blight, more move outs, less desirable places means less people staying & living in the City, and so on and so on. It's a domino effect. Of course, that's not to say Daley is absolutely correct, but he does have a point. However, a compromise must be made.

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Mark Konkol

Mark Konkol covers city neighborhoods for the Chicago Sun-Times. You can e-mail him or call (312) 321-2146.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Konkol published on November 8, 2007 1:38 PM.

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