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Public Policy Newsletter

Wednesday, October 6, 2015

State of Illinois

The Chamber’s previous newsletter detailed the assumptions built into Mayor Emanuel’s proposed 2016 City budget:

  • The court will find the municipal and laborer pension reform proposal constitutional;
  • Governor Rauner will sign SB 777 to reamoritize the police and fire pension payments; and,
  • The doubling of the residential homeowners’ exemption from $7,000 to $14,000.

On Thursday, October 24, Michael Reever, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Government Relations, testified before the Illinois General Assembly House Revenue & Finance Committee “subject matter only” hearing on the City of Chicago proposal to double the residential homeowners’ exemption from $7,000 to $14,000. This would require legislative approval, however; as of today, no legislation has been introduced for review or action.

Click here to view the hearing.

The Chicagoland Chamber opposes this effort. An increase in the exemption would shift an even greater portion of the property tax burden on to commercial and industrial property. Currently, Cook County’s archaic and unfair property tax classification system requires businesses to pay more than their fair share: 2.5 times more than residential homeowners.

The Mayor’s budget proposal includes a $588 million property tax increase phased in over four years to pay for the actuarially required contributions to the police and fire pension systems.

City of Chicago

Elise Houren, Chicagoland Chamber Director of Government Relations, has been attending the City Council’s budget hearings to monitor all ongoing developments.

Key issues at the September 24 City Council meeting include:

  • Alderman Maldonado’s (26) ordinance amending the current code related to the licensing of mobile food vendors passed. The ordinance establishes a license fee for mobile food vendors along with a set of standards that must be followed including preparation, packaging, and storage requirements. Alderman Reilly (42) and Alderman Tunney (44) have both introduced ordinances to prohibit mobile food vendors in designated streets and areas of the City.
  • Alderman Moreno (1) introduced an ordinance to amend the current “plastic bag ban.” The proposed ordinance would require every retailer affected by the ordinance to provide weekly data identifying bags used in each establishment. The ordinance specifies that operators shall provide bags or recyclable paper bags or may provide commercially compostable plastic bags. The original ordinance introduced by Alderman Moreno to ban plastic bags was approved in April of 2014 by City Council and took effect this August at chain stores and franchise stores of more than 10,000 square feet. The Chicagoland Chamber remains opposed to this and continues to work with Alderman Moreno about our concerns.

We are continuing to monitor the implementation of the Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO). The Chicagoland Chamber previously testified on the ARO and continues to follow the activities surrounding adjustments to this ordinance. A lawsuit was recently filed by the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago challenging the constitutionality of the City’s ARO. The Chamber continues to monitor and remains involved in further discussions on the City’s ARO.

The next City of Chicago Council Meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 14 at 10:00 a.m.

The next Cook County Board of Commissioners Meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 7 at 11:00 a.m.

Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce PAC

The mission of the Chamber’s PAC is to raise money to support business-friendly candidates and incumbents at the City, County, and State levels. For more information on how to make a donation, or learn more about how to get involved, please e-mail me directly at mreever@chicagolandchamber.org.

Save the Date

Wednesday, December 2, 2015: PAC After Hours Networking Event

Friday, November 19, 2016: Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce PAC Award Luncheon

Chamber in the News

9/24/2015: Crain’s Chicago Business | Business rips Emanuel tax break plan in Springfield hearing

9/24/2015: Washington Times | Spending bill advances, Chicago tax plan criticized

9/24/2015: Progress Illinois | Illinois House To Consider State Funding Bill, Chicago Property Tax Exemption (UPDATED)

9/25/2015: DNA Info Chicago | Aldermen Push for Tax Rebates as Rahm Seeks Expanded Homeowner Exemption

9/30/2015: Chicago Tribune | Commentary: Chicago, to be a real ‘global city’ it will take more promotion

10/1/2015: DNA Info Chicago | Lucas Museum’s Lakefront Site Still a Sticking Point for Neighbors

10/3/2015: Crain’s Chicago Business | Property tax hike adds up to ‘a lot of hot dogs’

Special Invitation-Only Public Policy Committee Discussions

A Discussion with Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton
Friday, October 16: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

The Senate President will discuss the current budget impasse, and take questions from members.

A Discussion with House Revenue & Finance Committee Members:
Monday, November 2: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

The top-ranking members of the House Revenue & Finance Committee will discuss the current budget impasse and take questions from Chamber members.

We want to hear from you about any issues that may be of importance to you and your business. Please contact me directly with any questions or concerns at mreever@chicagolandchamber.org or 312-806-1508.


Michael L. Reever, Esq.
Vice President, Government Relations
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

Public Policy Committee

Susan Sher, Vice-Chair, University of Chicago Hospital | Adrian Guerrero, Union Pacific Railroad | Ray Drake, UPS | Anil Anuja, CCJM | Manny Sanchez, Sanchez Hoffman Daniels | Ira Azulay, Immigration Attorneys, LLP | Robin L. Brown, Ingredion Incorporated | Pat Cermak, Wight & Company | Harry Seigle, The Elgin Company | Rick Bodnum, CME Group

Public Policy Division

Michael Reever, Vice President, Government Relations
Elise Houren, Director, Government Relations
Chamber Policy Consultant
Joan Parker
Joan A. Parker Government Affairs

Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
The Wrigley Building , 410 North Michigan Ave, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60611
Telephone: (312) 494 6700
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