Lori Lightfoot, the Mayor of Chicago has a tough task in her hand. Chicago needs a new source of revenue as the bond rating agencies are monitoring the situation closely. The only way for the Mayor is to have the Illinois gambling expansion bill. It could pave the way for a new casino in the city. However, it isn’t that simple that it sounds. Thanks to the tax structure of the new bill, with all the possibilities it looks, there won’t be a private casino in the city. Lightfoot then would be left with the only option, a government-run casino.
Calvinayre reported that Lightfoot went on an ambitious trip to Springfield Illinois, the State Capital for a better tax structure. However, after several rounds of discussions, it looks that she is far away from what she is looking for. She echoed similar frustrations and feelings in a press conference held right after the meetings.
She told that Chicago needs a better tax structure and it needs to be done. She continued to press the issue and mentioned that this has been the priority for her and significant progress has been made in the last three weeks. She stressed how every single day they had to work to make this happen. However, she is still wishful that this progress turns into the necessary votes to get the new structure passed. The hard work to identify the issues and address other concerns is however continuing for Lightfoot.
J.B Pritzker, Governor of Illinois, proposed the new gambling bill. The bill says that Chicago would get one-third portion of the post-payout tax revenue from the new casino in the Windy City. However, this would be way too much for a private casino combining both the State Tax and the Chicago Tax.
The new tax structure is obviously very complicated. Chicago needs to receive the cuts and thus the lawmakers want Lightfoot to find alternative solutions to address the revenue problem. Even if they agree on the casino, the lawmakers want assurance that the new casino would be built away from the already existing operations of the city.
The lawmaker Will Davis was quite straightforward to address the problem. He said that a place in the downtown can be seen as an option. He said that the Mayor is not looking for downtown. He argued that Chicago is a tourist city and why can’t they have such a facility where the tourists generally go. Well, lawmakers want Lightfoot to decide on the location to take the discussion forward. However, the Mayor has a different view altogether in the current situation.
Lightfoot called the discussion on the location of the casino as premature. She identified that the location of the casino can impact the property tax of the city and that would be another challenge to handle. She was rather confident that if the new tax structure isn’t worked out then a new casino might not become a reality in Chicago.
Well, it seems that there is a serious difference of opinion between the lawmakers and the Mayor of Chicago. However, analysts are also hopeful that all parties could come together to resolve the revenue problem of Chicago at this point.