Pritzker would veto Chicago mayor’s financial transaction tax plan

Pritzker would veto Chicago mayor’s financial transaction tax plan

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he would oppose a financial transaction tax that Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson wants as part of his plan for $800 million in new taxes.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker would veto a bill creating a financial transaction tax in Chicago, an idea on Mayor Brandon Johnson’s wish list of new taxes for the city.

“Let me be clear, there is no financial transactions tax on the table, period,” Pritzker said to Bloomberg News. “There will not be support. I would veto it.”

A financial transaction tax was on Johnson’s list of $800 million in taxes to bring in new revenue for the city. State lawmakers in Springfield would need to approve it first.

Pritzker previously said he wouldn’t support it, but specifically saying he would veto it means the idea is likely dead. The governor knows it would make financial businesses more likely to follow through on threats to leave the state.

CME Group Inc. CEO Terry Duffy told Bloomberg he met with Johnson in April and wants to help him, but “we don’t agree on anything.”

The company founded in 1898 that became the Chicago Mercantile Exchange prepared an exit plan from Chicago, partly because of the proposed financial transactions tax and partly because of rampant crime.

“I liquidated every piece of real estate in the state,” Duffy told Bloomberg recently. “I have leases where I am in an advantageous position, because now I can renegotiate. They’re all coming due. We like Chicago. There’s no reason for us to want to leave. But at the same time, if the atmosphere gets to the point where it’s intolerable, we have no choice.”

Johnson also wants a “mansion tax” on sales of properties worth more than $1 million, but it would mainly raise the $400 million he wants for homelessness relief by hitting commercial properties. There are relatively few Chicago “mansion” sales compared to commercial property sales: commercial sales outpaced residential 9 to 1, or $7.5 billion to $841.8 million, according to an analysis of sales over $1 million from April 2021 to April 2022 by Crain’s Chicago Business. The “mansion tax” is working its way through the city council.

Johnson also campaigned on a jet fuel tax on airlines of nearly $100 million. It would impact not just Chicagoans, but tourists and business travelers from anywhere who use O’Hare or Midway airports.

Those ideas don’t need approval from Pritzker and the Statehouse, so Johnson only needs to convince the City Council to make them city policies.

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