Puffing in Chicago could make you poorer.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is proposing increases to the city's 68-cent-a-pack cigarette tax and the 9 percent amusement tax as a way to make up for the budget shortfall.
"I'd probably smoke less because it would be less affordable," smoker Phillipe Lafontant said. "If you're going to increase something for amusement and leisure, find a way to increase pay."
The amusement tax was increased 1 percent in 2009 for the city's sports stadiums and mid-sized venues. Another increase could bring in millions of dollars more to city coffers.
But Marc Ganis, president of SportsCorp consulting firm, says that it would put the city's teams at a competitive disadvantage.
"There's a city tax and a county tax. Typically around the country we don't have that," Ganis said. "The teams are going to be the ones who will have to pay this. They don't have an alternative because their facilities are located within city limits. Even if it's the Bears and the Bulls and Blackhawks White Sox and the Cubs writing the check, it's the fans who are actually paying for it."
The mayor plans to steer clear of the taxes he increased last year, such as hotel rooms and parking, the newspaper reported.