Chicago City Wire

Chicago City Wire

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Chicago Democrats' tax-and-spend policies create 'a vicious cycle' for residents, GOP chair says


By Glenn Minnis | Oct 21, 2019

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot

Chicago Republican Party Chairman Chris Cleveland has grown exasperated with the city's Democratic leadership.

“The Democrats don't get the basic concept,” Cleveland told Chicago City Wire. “If you tax something, you get less of it. If they tax economic activity, there will be fewer businesses and fewer jobs in the city. And that means more population loss. It's a vicious cycle.”

Cleveland fears that yet more tax hikes are inevitable for Chicago, where Mayor Lori Lightfoot has strongly hinted she’s convinced the best way to gain ground on a projected $838 million budget shortfall and fund all the city’s new spending projects is to raise taxes. Everything from a “LaSalle Street Tax” to a commercial lease tax and graduated-rate real estate transaction tax seems to be in play, according to Lightfoot.

Chicago Republican Party Chairman Chris Cleveland

The Tax Foundation estimates that the full bevy of proposed new taxes under consideration could generate as much as $4.5 billion in annual revenue. In Cleveland’s mind, a tax hike of any kind almost assures more of the same degree of debt and deficit for the city.

“When you add up sales, property and income taxes, Chicago already has the highest taxes in the nation,” Cleveland said. “And we have the highest population loss of any big city. Does the mayor think those two things are not related?”

Residents will get the chance to have their voices heard when they take to the polls in 2020 to vote on the proposed constitutional amendment needed to enact the graduated income tax still being pushed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Cleveland said he hopes voters realize it is past time they take a stand.

“The Democrats have been bought and paid for by the public employees unions, which have been the chief driving force behind our excessive spending,” Cleveland said. “And now, the Chicago Teacher's Union and SEIU (Service Employees International Union) are on strike for even more. This nightmare doesn't end unless this mayor faces economic reality and gets tough with the unions.”

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