Illinois Lawmakers Reject Changes To The Casino Tax Structure, Prospects Of A Chicago Casino Doomed

Illinois Lawmakers Reject Changes To The Casino Tax Structure, Prospects Of A Chicago Casino Doomed

Nothing has been going right for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. The Illinois General Assembly adjourned on Thursday and it did not vote to make any changes to the existing tax structure for prospective Chicago casino operators.

The Chicago Casino has been deemed “not feasible” as the tax structure makes it simply a non-profitable venture. As such the city has not got any investors for the project.

But all this adds to the problem of Mayor Lori Lightfoot who had been expecting $50 million in revenue from a graduated real estate transfer tax, which needs state approval.

“While we are disappointed that a much-needed fix to the gaming bill won’t be made during this compressed veto session, the Chicago casino is still very much in the sight-line thanks to the progress we’ve made with our state partners,” Lightfoot said in a statement on Thursday.

The city expects to gain tax revenues from the sale of a casino license to solve its financial woes.

According to a Bloomberg report, the Mayor is “working to fill an $838 million budget shortfall, the biggest in recent history, as the city’s payments to its four massively underfunded pension plans ramp up in the coming year. Chicago is struggling with a $30-billion shortfall across its retirement system after years of not paying enough to the funds.”

According to an Illinois Gaming Board report, if there are no changes made to the existing tax structure, the casino operator in Chicago would have to pay about 72% effective tax rate.

Earlier, a study commissioned to prepare a feasibility report of the prospective Chicago casino was reported negative by Union Gaming. The study blamed it all on the tax structure which makes the venture simply not profitable at all.

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