In spite of the fact that Chicago already has some of the highest taxes in the nation, Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel is reportedly considering raising some taxes again, according to a Fox News report on Saturday.
Chicago’s City Hall asserted on Friday that Emanuel is seriously looking into the possibility of raising Chicago’s taxes on cigarettes, amusements, and liquor – again. Additionally he is considering a tax hike on personal property lease transactions. All of this is being considered for alleviating the city’s current $338.7 million budget shortage.
It has been said that the city’s financial debt will blossom to approximately $1 billion in 2014 without some sort of solution to Chicago’s pension crisis.
Emanuel has tried to tax several things twice but his efforts failed. For example, he has already targeted additional parking taxes, bottled water, soft drinks, and natural gas without success.
Chicago’s amusement tax was increased by 1 percent in 2005 and again by 1 percent in 2009. The current amusement tax is at 5 percent of mid-sized venues and 9 percent for sporting events in huge facilities. Any more increase in amusement tax could make Chicago the highest taxer of tickets in the entire nation.
Regarding the pending raise in cigarette taxes, Chicago increased the tax per pack by 32 cents in 2005 and by 20 cents a pack in 2006. Chicago’s portion of the tax on packs of cigarettes is already 68 cents per pack. The taxes on Chicago-sold cigarettes are the second highest price in the nation at $6.67 – since both Illinois and Cook County have increased taxes as well in the past 18 months. With so many taxes in Chicago on products, many are crossing the state line to make purchases. On cigarette sales alone, the income from cigarette taxes has plummeted by 50 percent in the past 7 years.
City taxes on alcohol, however, have been profitable for the city as the taxes coming in have doubled in the past decade. Currently, $33 million in liquor taxes are what the city makes annually.
Emanuel will announce his tax increase proposals on Oct. 23 when he gives his budget address.
Politically, raising taxes are likely to be as popular with Chicago voters as speed cameras – which are currently being installed throughout the city – are with citizens who claim there has been nothing but one money-grab after another money-grab since Emanuel took office a couple of years ago. Chicagoans are adamant about their disgust with fees, fines, and taxes in recent years.