Proposal to ban ‘corporate welfare’ turned down

Proposal to ban ‘corporate welfare’ turned down

The Arlington Heights Village Board Monday unanimously turned down a proposed referendum to prohibit public subsidies for a proposed Chicago Bears stadium progress or any other private business.

The board voted 9- to reject a petition for an “Anti-Corporate Welfare Ordinance,” which had been signed by some 565 registered voters and inhabitants.

Mayor Thomas Hayes urged rejection of the evaluate, indicating it would induce “severe destructive financial influence.” He also alleged that some petitioners had said they ended up misled about the reason of the proposal.

The Bears, who at this time enjoy in Chicago’s Soldier Industry, have a preliminary agreement to obtain the 326-acre Arlington Worldwide Racecourse from Churchill Downs Inc. for $197 million. The group has proposed a $5 billion redevelopment of the residence to include things like a new enclosed soccer stadium and adjoining entertainment, retail and residential buildings.

The workforce has said it would pay out for the stadium, but would want community help to pay for infrastructure, these types of as roadways and utilities, for the combined-use development.

The petition to the board would have prevented the village from supplying any economical incentive not just to the Bears, but to any business enterprise or company.

The petition experienced been circulated by Individuals for Prosperity-Illinois, based in neighboring Rolling Meadows. It is element of a countrywide conservative libertarian team backed by the conservative billionaire Koch relatives.

The group’s deputy director, Brian Costin, explained to the board that he would proceed to struggle for the evaluate.

“Our ordinance is about equality right before the law,” he claimed. “You should not be pressured … to pay for the profits of other individuals. … The citizens of Arlington Heights are worthy of to have the ultimate say on the challenge of company welfare.”

Village Supervisor Randall Recklaus warned that this sort of a measure would prevent numerous systems the village has used successfully, from subsidizing public parking to al fresco dining.

1 probably likelihood for the Bears would be a tax increment financing, or TIF district. Underneath a TIF, any boosts in residence tax revenues in a specified area, these kinds of as the stadium development, would be made use of to shell out for infrastructure improvements there. Residence tax revenues heading to area taxing bodies these as faculties would be frozen at existing stages for 23 many years.

Board trustees argued that they have applied this sort of incentives diligently and efficiently for many buying facilities.

“I’m hoping this is the close of (the petition),” Trustee John Scaletta advised Costin, adding, “You’re wasting our time.”

The village permits a petitioner to collect signatures from 12% of registered voters, or practically 7,000 signatures, to override the board and put the measure on the ballot.

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