Rahm Emanuel wants you to pay less sales tax. But under his plan -- announced Wednesday -- the tax would apply to more services.
Calling it a win-win for businesses and shoppers, Emanuel said he wants to reduce the total sales tax rate in the city to 1 percent from 1.25 percent. That tax, however, would be expanded to include "luxury goods" -- things like limo rides, pet grooming and other services.
"Chicago has one of ... the highest sales tax for a major city in the country," Emanuel said of Chicago's 9.75 percent overall rate, according to the Chicago Tribune. "Given that, I think this is a way now to bring a cut in the sales tax -- a 20 percent reduction, closing loopholes, make it flatter, broader on what it affects — and therefore you'll see a reduction that's a win for business in the city and it's a win for the consumer."
Almost immediately after the announcement, opponent Carol Moseley Braun sent out a statement calling the proposal a "tax increase."
"The middle class is hurting enough. I don't support any new taxes," she said in a statement.
But Emanuel said his plan could help ease the city's budget woes by bringing in an additional $15 to $20 million.
Gery Chico has said he has a similar plan in mind but has not yet released any details.
- Former Cook County Assessor Jim Houlihan led a somewhat similar effort seven years ago, but it did not succeed in broadening the base of items covered by the sales tax.
To change the city's tax rate, Emanuel would need approval from the City Council and state legislators in Springfield.