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October 26, 2020

This Week in Illinois 

Mayor Lightfoot Releases Proposed Budget
Mayor Lightfoot released her budget proposal for 2021 on Wednesday and its a doozy with property tax increases and cuts. Here is a link to the various budget documents. The mayor's press release gives the highlights of the budget proposal. 

The Chamber's tax guru, Keith Staats, put together the following analysis:
  • Property tax increases totaling $93.9 million are proposed.
  • The budget proposes implementing an annual property tax increase tied to the Consumer Price Index beginning with the 2021 levy. 
  • The City has also declared a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) surplus for a total of $304 million.
  • The proposed budget contains an increase in the "cloud tax" (tax on streaming services) to 9%. 
  • The proposed budget also includes an increase to the Chicago Vehicle Fuel Tax of 3 cents per gallon.
Here are the next steps in the Chicago budget process:
  1. The Mayor submitted the proposed budget to the City Council on 10/21.
  2. The City Council's Committee on the Budget & Government Operations will hold hearings on the budget through December.
  3. The City Council must approve a budget by 12/31.
  4. The annual appropriate ordinance (budget) goes into effect on January 1, 2021.

Gov. Pritzker Announces New COVID Restrictions
Starting this weekend, the Governor has placed most of northern Illinois under additional restrictions to counteract a growing positivity rate. IDPH outlines the following restrictions:  
  • Bars and Restaurants
    • Reduce party size from 10 to six individuals
  • Meetings, Social Events and Gathering
    • Maximum indoor/outdoor gathering size of 10 individuals
      • Applicable to professional, religious, cultural and social group gatherings
      • Not applicable to students participating in-person classroom learning
      • This does not reduce the overall facility capacity dictated by general business guidance, such as office, retail, etc
      • Not applicable to sports, see sports guidance. 
  • Indoor Recreation
    • Maintain lesser of 25 people/25 percent of capacity
    • No groups more than 10 individuals
    • Does not apply to fitness
Friday, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported 51 counties in Illinois are considered to be at a warning level for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). A county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase.

Fifty-one counties are currently reported at a warning level - Adams, Bond, Boone, Carroll, Cass, Christian, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, DeKalb, Douglas, Edwards, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Gallatin, Greene, Hamilton, Henderson, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Kane, Kendall, Knox, LaSalle, Lee, Macon, Macoupin, McDonough, McHenry, Mercer, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Rock Island, Saline, Shelby, Stephenson, Union, Vermilion, Wabash, Warren, Wayne, Whiteside, Will, Williamson, and Winnebago.

Progressive Income Tax 
The Illinois Chamber has been working with partners throughout the state for the past 18 months to fight the damaging and destructive progressive income tax. We have moved into the final stage of our grassroots operation with an aggressive online advertising campaign. You can see Chamber ads on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Google and many other online destinations. You can learn more about our efforts at or donate to help us with the final push here. 

Annual Meeting
We are still hearing rave reviews about the speakers at this year's online annual meeting, with special compliments to our moderator, Wintrust Vice President of Community Affairs and Chamber International Business Council Co-Chair Susana Mesa. You can check out all our videos from the event, including the keynote address from President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Charles Evans and panel discussion with Wintrust President Timothy S. Crane and Chairman of the Chicago Cubs Tom Ricketts here.

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If you have questions about the Government Affairs Report, contact Clark Kaericher at Do not reply to this email. 

Illinois Chamber of Commerce

2020 Government Affairs Report | Clark Kaericher, Editor