Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel is taking heat for slapping large concert and sports venues with a hefty amusement tax, while eliminating tariffs for smaller venues.
The city of Chicago currently levies a tax of 5 percent on each ticket sold for venues with a capacity of more than 750 people. Emmanuel’s office last week said it would do away with the 5 percent tax, and charge a 9 percent tax on tickets at venues with a capacity over 1,500 people.
Sporting events in Chicago are already stuck with a 9 percent tax in addition to a 3 percent amusement tax.
Opponents of the tax say it will discourage acts from booking larger venues in the city. The Chicago Bears and White Sox Tuesday posted nearly identical statements on their websites.
Chicago stands alone for many reasons that we can be proud of — but having the highest amusement taxes for fans attending sports and concerts in the United States should not be one of them," the statement read. "By driving this tax to one of the highest in the country, Chicago will lose concerts. As the shows leave, so do the dollars that flow through restaurants, cabs and hotels on any given show night. And despite what our political leaders believe, the losses will far surpass any gains a tax increase was intended to garner.
According to a post from the Chicago Sun Times, the mayor’s office expects the additional taxes to generate $15.8 million in additional revenue.