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County Commissioner: Use Taxes From Lollapalooza For Summer Jobs Program

Lollapalooza

The 2011 Lollapalooza festival in Grant Park. (Credit: CBS)

Mike Krauser Mike Krauser
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CHICAGO (CBS) — The Lollapalooza summer music festival is, for the first time, paying amusement taxes – and now, a Cook County Commissioner wants to see the money put to good use.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, Commissioner Bridget Gainer (D-10th) was the one who said the tax breaks made sense when Lollapalooza was getting started. But now, the festival is a big moneymaker, and she said the free ride should end.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

The free ride has indeed ended. The festival is now on the hook for amusement taxes, and tickets have already generated $160,000 for the county.

Gainer would like to see the money go to a summer jobs program for kids, and she has some support for board members, but so far, not from County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

While Lollapalooza is now paying taxes, it has already generated millions for the Chicago Park District.
Previously, Lollapalooza had paid to contribute to park improvements – as they will continue to do – but had not paid city, county or state taxes.

Ticket prices went up $5 per day this year for the privilege of attending Lollapalooza Aug. 3-5.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Black Keys, a reunited Black Sabbath, and Jack White are headlining this year’s festival. Also on the roster are Florence + the Machine, At the Drive-In, Bassnectar, Avicii, the Shins, Justice, Passion Pit, Kaskade, the Weeknd, and Sigur Ros. Look also for Franz Ferdinand, M83, the Tallest Man on earth, and local favorites J.C. Brooks & the Uptown Sound, among many others.

The festival is completely sold out for this year.