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Poll: Mayoral Candidates Would Focus On Job Creation

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Chicago Mayoral Candidates Gery Chico, Carol Moseley Braun, Miguel del Valle, Rahm Emanuel, Patricia Van Pelt Watkins and William "Dock" Walls

(Clockwise from top left) Chicago mayoral candidates Gery Chico, Carol Moseley Braun, Miguel del Valle, Rahm Emanuel, Patricia Van Pelt Watkins and William “Dock” Walls (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) – Job creation and retention efforts are near the top of the priority list for Chicago’s mayoral candidates, according to a Chicago Tribune questionnaire sent them on major campaign issues.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Dave Marsett reports, the newspaper says the candidates are promoting plans, in the Tribune’s words, “to cut or restructure taxes to entice business, streamline red tape that can frustrate and slow the development of new enterprise, and reinvigorate infrastructure to expand Chicago’s role as the nation’s transportation hub.”

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Dave Marsett reports

A recent poll by the Tribune and WGN-Channel 9 indicates that these ideas are widely appealing to voters. Nearly two thirds of those polled even came out in support of tax breaks to keep businesses and jobs from leaving the city. Only 27 percent said such measures were not necessary, the Tribune reported.

Arguably the most controversial plan for growth in the city came from mayoral frontrunner Rahm Emanuel, who wants to cut the city’s portion of the sales tax from 1.25 percnet to 1 percent, and make up for the loss by extending the sales tax to luxury services such as tanning salons, the Tribune reported.

Rival Gery Chico has attacked this proposal in campaign ads, featuring a bowling alley attendant who demands that patrons pay the “Rahm tax.”

Emanuel also seeks changes on the way taxes on natural gas, so that spikes in gas prices whont’ mean huge tax hikes for businesses, the Tribune reported. Both Emanuel and William “Dock” Walls seek to do away with phasing out the “head tax,” which imposes a $4 per month levy per employee, per month, on companies with a staff of more than 50, the Tribune reported.

Chico wants to do away with the head tax altogether right away, while Miguel Del Valle and Patricia Van-Pelt Watkins want to keep it in place, the newspaper reported.

Candidate Carol Moseley Braun did not respond to the Tribune questionnaire.

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