Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Mayor's Race Goes To the Dogs

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Chico says tax will affect dog owners.

Nearly a week after Gery Chico released a campaign ad attacking Rahm Emanuel's proposed plan to tax luxury services, Chico sought to prove his point at a North Side dog grooming salon.

The former chief of staff to Mayor Daley showed up Thursday afternoon at Soggy Paws to say Emanuel's plan to tax services such as pet grooming "attacks working families." Chico refers to the plan as the Rahm Tax.

Emanuel's proposal includes cutting the city's sales tax by a quarter of a percentage point and expanding the tax to include services perceived to be luxuries, such as limo rides.

At the shop on Thursday, several dogs were outfitted with signs that read "Rahm please don't tax my haircut."

In a statement response, Emanuel's spokesman maintained that pet grooming falls into the luxury category.

"Gery Chico believes working families should continue to pay one of the highest sales tax rates in the country, and Rahm believes we should give them a 20% cut. Even the dog knows it's wrong to give tax preferences for mango-scented doggy facials but not for single moms struggling to buy school supplies," Ben LeBolt said.

At Wednesday night's Chicago Defender debate, Chico criticized Emanuel’s plans to expand the sales tax and reduce public employee pensions.

“I will not tax people," Chico said. "I am not going to expand under the guise of a tax swap the very largest tax increase we’ve seen.”

Chico has proposed reducing costs by merging and consolidating departments, and adopting “best practices” in city purchasing.

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