The Chicagoist reports that the 2004 city budget is $180 million bigger than 2003 and raises taxes “all over the place” to make up for a huge shortfall.
What can we look forward to? According to the Trib:
- An increase in the amusement tax from 3 percent to 4 percent on tickets for live performances at venues of at least 750 seats (Tickets at smaller clubs are untaxed.) and from 7 percent to 8 percent for all other amusements, such as White Sox, Cubs and Bears games;
- An increase from 3 percent to 3.5 in the city hotel tax;
- A jump from 16 cents to 48 cents on a pack of cigarettes;
- An increase from $2.75 to $3.75 in the car-rental tax;
- And a 25-cent increase in the city’s $2 parking tax.
This really puts the lie to Da Mare’s take on how the Republicans “outfoxed” out-of-touch Washington Democrats in the election, as reported by the Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman:
“We always thought the Republican Party was Washington, D.C. The Democrats are Washington, D.C., politicians. They don’t reach out to a mayor, a governor, or the state chairman. There’s no local anymore,” Daley said.
“If you watch the Republican Party, they’re to the people. … They’re more grass-roots than Democrats. We think we are. The Republicans outfoxed the Democrats. They became the party of precincts, a county, a city. Their strategy was to go to the people and not to the money people. … We’re supposed to be the party of the people. We’re the party of the money. … We’ve become the party of the insider.”
I suppose if anyone would know an operation that favors insiders when he sees it then Da Mare would. Why didn’t the Kerry campaign and the Democratic National Committee lean on Daley and his ilk for some expert advice? Perhaps huge budget deficits, corruption scandals and a flurry of tax increases didn’t some like such a great starting point (though Kerry obviously did support tax increases).