In an October 1st address to the UIC chapter of the State Universities Annuitants Association (SUAA), CPEG’s Bill Barclay explained the potential benefits of a small LaSalle Street Tax (also known as a Financial Transactions Tax), on Chicago’s two large trading markets. Barclay suggested that some of the estimated $10-12 Billion in revenues that could be generated by the tax could be used to make up for the decades-long failure of the Illinois legislature to keep their pension funding promises.
The SUAA, with over 1,600 members, exists to promote the individual and collective interests and welfare of its members and of all UIC retirees. You can download Barclay’s presentation here (powerpoint), or view the full presentation on Youtube.
At a July 19th Community Forum entitled The Illinois Budget Crisis, Workers’ Rights and Revenue, CPEG’s Ron Baiman gave a presentation on how a LaSalle Street Tax (also known as a Financial Transaction Tax), could save the Chicago and Illinois budgets and clean up exchanges such as the Chicago Mercantile.
In addition to the potential for billions in revenue for ailing budgets, Baiman noted that, in direct contradiction to frequent fears cited by opponents of the tax, “There are Financial Transactions Taxes on various financial markets in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Brazil, France, Singapore and other countries; in most cases the tax is at a higher rate than proposed under [current legislation]. These are all large markets that have not been hurt by the tax and exchanges have not moved away.”
Download the full presentation (.pptx)
Chicago already has one of the biggest “rich person” casinos in the world but it is hardly taxed at all. A new CPEG report explores the massive gap between taxation of largely lower and middle-class riverboat gamblers, and the upper-class who do their gambling in the heart of Chicago’s financial district.
In fact, assuming that both rich and poor person casinos in Illinois pass tax costs on to their customers, “traders” at Illinois’ rich-person casinos: Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) owned by the CME, and the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) pay state taxes that are at most equal to 0.000014% of the nominal value traded, more than 200,000 times lower than the 3.2% state tax per dollar wagered by “gamblers” at Illinois’ 10 poor-person riverboat casinos.
Read the full CPEG report (PDF)
Chicago’s next Mayor confronts economic stagnation, unemployment, and budget and pension shortfalls. The lack of good jobs, the root of neighborhood economic and social dislocation, cannot be addressed through more or better policing, education, or additional human services, needed as they are. Overcoming 26 years of neoliberal policy under the Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emmanuel administrations requires a program to create jobs and shore up pensions, as well as the City’s budget. This effort will require new taxes and other funding measures.
A new CPEG report, Restoring Chicago’s Fiscal and Economic Health, offers a range of options for raising revenue, essential to reversing years of increasing inequality, poverty and middle class decline in Chicago and across the Midwest.
Download Restoring Chicago’s Fiscal and Economic Health> (PDF)
Note: This response is authored by CPEG’s Bill Barclay in response to a February 16th Editorial in the Chicago Sun-Times regarding the potential for a “LaSalle Street Tax”, a very small tax on the trading of financial assets. You can download a full Q&A on the Lasalle Street Tax here.
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you…
…and then you win.
The gathering momentum behind the LaSalle Street Tax (LST) is moving us through Gandhi’s stages faster than we expected. The most recent evidence that this momentum can no longer be ignored comes from the Sun Times February 16th editorial, which endorses such a tax in principle. While attacking the proposed level of the LST, the editorial says “a very small Chicago tax might make sense.”