Chicagoland Chamber President Testifies on City's Budget Proposal

Applauds phase-out of head tax, cautions on proposed tax increases

Nov 02, 2011, 15:08 ET from Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

CHICAGO, Nov. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce commended Mayor Emanuel on Budget during the Chicago City Council's Budget Committee public hearing, for presenting a budget that closes a $653 million gap without raising property or sales taxes. In addition, the Chamber applauded the Mayor for including the phase out of the city's head tax in the budget. The Chicagoland Chamber and its members see many of the budget's measures as an important step to fixing the structural imbalance of the city's finances.

"The elimination of the anti-competitive head tax will encourage the growth of our small and medium sized businesses," says Jerry Roper, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce president and CEO. "Now employers can invest their savings in employee training, increased wages and benefits, and growing their business without being penalized for each new employee they hire."

For years businesses have complained about the head tax and it has been cited as another example of an unnecessary and burdensome regulation that put Chicago at a competitive disadvantage with other cities, Roper adds. By eliminating the head tax, Roper sees an opportunity to create stability for businesses operating within the city.

Mr. Roper cautioned the City Council about the congestion fee. "We must ensure it does not result in the unintended consequence of discouraging people from coming downtown to do business, shop and visit our cultural institutions." The Chamber supports the plan to use the revenue to invest in new public transportation projects, yet recognizes that there might be a negative impact on the central business district before a new system can be built.

About The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Founded in 1904, we are a private, non-profit business assistance and economic development organization. With 2,600 members, representing over 1.3 million individual employees in the six-county Northeastern Illinois region (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry & Will), we are the largest Chamber of Commerce in Illinois and one of the largest in the nation. Our mission is to make Chicagoland the most business-friendly region in America and to enhance our members' success through aggressive advocacy, member benefits, services, and actionable information.

Contact: Chris Johnson, 312-494-6727,

SOURCE Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce