CHICAGO (WBBM) — Mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel says he’s not going to produce a full list of “luxuries” that would be taxed under his proposals, but he vows the middle class and everyday business will not suffer.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports
Emanuel is proposing a 20 percent decrease in Chicago’s portion of the sales tax offset by broadening the number of items taxed to include luxuries, like limousine rides and exclusive club memberships.
Rival Gery Chico thinks he’s found an issue that has legs and is betting $500,000 in TV time on it.
“I don’t think that’s negative at all – I think it’s an ad that responds to a negative idea,” Chico said.
Chico says the tax would have to include things like barbershops, nail salons and neighborhood gyms to generate sufficient revenue.
Emanuel says he would fight anything like that. He says the cornerstone of his plan is a 20 percent reduction in the city’s portion of the sales tax rate. And he vows middle class and working people won’t be paying more, despite what his rivals say.
“I will not support anything that doesn’t meet the goal of a tax cut for working families,” Emanuel told CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine.
Tom Johnson, the head of the Illinois Taxpayers’ Federation, said Emanuel’s tax-swap idea could work, depending on what items are identified as luxury services. He said poorer people tend to spend more of their money on goods, not services.
Emanuel is the guest on Newsradio 780’s “At Issue” program this weekend, and you can hear more of his comments Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.