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Daley’s economic development joke

Mayor Daley was just kidding when he said he would go after Oregon businesses last week, after the state voted for a modest income tax hike for the top 3 percent  of its wealthiest residents, and for an equally modest reform of the state’s corporate income tax.

At least that’s a what a Daley spokesperson told the Portland Business Journal Friday.

Even as a joke it doesn’t make sense.  What business is going to leave a state with responsible fiscal policies for one like Illinois with a $13 billion deficit?  What businessperson would choose a state with public education and urban transit in crisis, and with social services in danger of closing with the state unable to pay its bills?

Meanwhile, as Oregon House Speaker Dave Hunt tells the Oregonian, Chicago has the highest sales tax in the country.  (And even with the minimums just enacted by the voters there, the corporate income tax is still higher here than in Oregon.)

Daley’s “economic development” policy throws millions upon millions of public dollars at multinational corporations to bring a relative handful of jobs here, while cutting funding for neighborhood development groups that support small business, which is the strongest engine of job growth. Meanwhile a maze of fees and regulations makes Chicago “hostile to start-up businesses and self-employed people,” as a study by the Institute for Justice found last year.

Check the list of organizations backing the Vote Yes For Oregon Coalition in its call for what the Nation termed “budget sanity.”  Look on the right side of that list for the many small business endorsers.  They knew the measures that passed were needed to “protect the foundations of our community — our schools, our health and human services, our public safety system,” as the Oregon Center for Public Policy put it.

Progress Illinois wonders why Daley still calls himself a Democrat.  Is he really against progressive taxation?  Last year, when Democrats in Springfield were unsuccessfully wrestling with budget reform, he was out of town, lobbying for the Olympics.

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Category: city budget, development, state budget, taxes


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