What is the Rahm Tax?
A few good points in this article:
"His idea is to try to reduce the sales tax, and make up for it by creating new taxes on services - but only those used by the wealthy. "If you can afford an elective cosmetic procedure like Botox, if you can afford to take a charter plane flight into Chicago, you shouldn't be able to do that on the backs of working families," said Chicago For Rahm communications director LaBolt.
This seems eminently reasonable. The question is, which services will ultimately get taxed? Only the ones that won't affect "working families," LaBolt insisted. But different working families use different services. Is there a comprehensive, specific list of the things Emanuel would like to see taxed?
At this point, the spokesman was decidedly more curt, pointing to a press release. "We released the policy to the press two weeks ago, but you all didn't pay any attention to it until Gery Chico announced he was against it," he said."
Yes, that would be because Gery Chico explained that it's not just a "decrease on sales tax" which is all it was being hyped as.
"LaBolt would only say that it will "require negotiation with Springfield" - state lawmakers would have to pass a new tax - and that Emanuel has drawn his "line in the sand" at not harming "working families."
It's this ambiguity that Chico finds misleading. "Voters who are heading to the polls in just three weeks have no idea what services Emanuel would tax if he were elected as mayor," the campaign said in a press release today."
I have to wonder why Emanuel thinks that he can draw a line in the sand for the state lawmakers. And sorry, I trust the state gov't less than.... yeah, well, nevermind, don't really trust any of them at the moment.
"But the problem goes further than uncertainty about nitpicky details. If, as LaBolt suggests, the tax only affects a very limited set services for the wealthy, then it's hard to imagine that it will generate the tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars required to offset the sales tax decrease. After all, how many dog-walking, limo-riding plane-charterers are there in the state of Illinois?"
The tax issue that Emanuel is hinging his campaign on is smoke and mirrors. I hope that people figure it out before heading to the polls.