CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago city leaders say with a budget deficit over $700 million, the city may no longer be able to afford to give out big tax breaks to one popular entertainment attraction.
As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Michele Fiore reports, the promoters of Lollapalooza currently get a big break. They do not have to pay amusement taxes to the city and county on the tickets they sell.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Michele Fiore reports
The break means a $1 million loss for city coffers.
The original contract gave the tax exemption to Lollapalooza in exchange for the guarantee that it would stay in Chicago through the year 2018.
Promoters for all other for-profit entertainment in the city, from small clubs and coffeehouse shows to the Paul McCartney concert this week at Wrigley Field and even the Pitchfork Music Festival, have to hand over amusement taxes, WBEZ.org music critic Jim DeRogatis reported.
But now, DeRogatis says Mayor Rahm Emanuel is considering a change to send some money back to the city.
Lollapalooza is co-owned by Austin, Texas-based C3 Presents and William Morris Endeavor, the talent agency owned by the mayor’s brother, Ari Emanuel.
Lollapalooza began as an itinerant festival, but has been held only in Chicago since 2005. Tickets for this year’s festival from Friday to Sunday are already sold out.