Companies are already vowing to leave Chicago due to additional taxes promised by its new mayor – a progressive tasked with addressing the city’s declining image under predecessor Lori Lightfoot.
Set to be sworn in in hours, Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson beat more moderate Chicago Schools CEO Paul Vallas earlier this month to win the spot – something business leaders like CME Group Inc are saying already irritated.
Appearing on a podcast on Sunday, the chief executive of the country’s leading financial derivatives exchange, Terry Duffy, expressed his disgust at the extra taxes planned by the former union organizer, which were endorsed by Bernie Sanders.
Intended to lift the city out of its current financial hole, the increases are aimed at high earners and companies headquartered in the Windy City – which, as CME has already proven, are likely to wage a political struggle.
Besides the series of tax increases, Johnson – a relative unknown in a heated mayoral race – has his hands full when he takes the reins on Monday, facing an influx of migrants in need of shelter and months summer events that historically engender violent crime.
Chicago Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson, 57, will take office Monday in the face of an influx of migrants in desperate need of shelter, pressure to build support from skeptical business leaders and months of summer that historically lead to an increase in violent crime.
Set to be sworn in in hours, Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson beat more moderate Chicago Schools CEO Paul Vallas earlier this month to win the spot — something business leaders like CME Group Inc in the downtown of the city are already irritated.
Speaking to the Odd Lots podcast about 24 hours before the ceremony which will see the former Chicago schoolteacher take over from his predecessor, Duffy made it clear that his company was ready to join several companies like Tyson, Caterpillar and Boeing in moving, if Johnson the fact. disregard his warnings and those of others.
‘M. Johnson has no legal authority to impose a transaction tax on my business,’ Duffy said, adding that the relatively green politician should focus on the gargantuan task of tackling the city’s crime epidemic instead. to put pressure on companies.
Duffy – whose business is worth an estimated $66bn and operates both Chicago and New York trading exchanges – sarcastically sniped Johnson shouldn’t “get too bogged down about how he’s going to think in the short term” botched plans.
He added of Johnson, who for the past four years served as commissioner in crime-ridden Cook County: “He’s going to raise taxes on some people to fit his agenda.”
Johnson takes the reins as Lightfoot’s office came under fire from weary citizens after demanding she receive a 5 percent annual salary increasedespite growing criticism over his handling of the violence crime in the city, as well as its failure to address its historically high murder rate.
Lightfoot, who currently earns an annual salary of $209,915, made the brazen demand Wednesday in an order that would give the mayor, city clerk and treasurer access to a pay raise each year.
If approved, the pay rise would see the municipal official’s salary increase to $216,210 as of May 22 of next year.
Officials from both sides have denounced the recent “lawlessness” seen in the city under Lightfoot, which reached levels not seen in decades during the pandemic and has since failed to return to pre-pandemic levels.
The progressive notoriously slashed $59 million from the Chicago Police Department’s budget in 2020 during the Defund the Police protests – but made a sharp U-turn on that policy in August 2021 amid rising crime and mass walkouts by city peace officers.
The unrest was heightened by rioting by supporters of Black Lives Matter and Defund the Police – two moves Lightfoot had touted during his election campaign.
At the time, the city recorded its deadliest year in decades, with 797 murders in 2021 – the most recorded since the mid-1990s. Crime, particularly shootings, has persisted since, with overall crime having increased by more than 43% compared to last year.
The Chicago City Police Department, meanwhile, was also increasingly at odds with Lightfoot, whose advocacy of progressive policies has also put her in the crosshairs of conservative critics across the country.
A 700-page Safety, Liability, Fairness and Fairness Today Act, championed by Lightfoot in January, instituted a series of criminal justice reforms in Illinois, including ending the cash deposit in January.
Lightfoot has also since spoken out against the “defund the police” movement, unveiling a new plan to – ironically – “defund the police”.
It was part of a plan that saw $16.7 billion in spending, provided by the federal government, funneled into the beleaguered police department, taking its annual budget to $1.9 billion from $1.7 billion. dollars.
The plan relied heavily on money from Washington to dig the city out of a deficit that reached new heights under Lightfoot, and outlined potential funding for new community programs that the mayor says will help the city in difficulty getting through the ongoing pandemic while addressing current gun issues. violence and crime.
Nearly two violent crimes are still on the rise in Chicago, especially compared to before the pandemic — around the time Lightfoot was sworn in in May 2019.
Murders have risen 11% since 2019, matching rates seen at the height of the pandemic, when authorities recorded a record 644 killings,
That marker was then surpassed when Lightfoot cut funding to the city’s police force in 2021, when there were 676 killings – the most since the mid-1990s.
Since then, murders have fallen slightly, but robberies, robberies and crime in general are still on the rise – all seeing double-digit increases in some of the worst years in the city’s history, in terms of of crime.
Shootings in the Windy City, meanwhile, remain a problem – as figures like Johnson promise to take guns off the streets of Chicago.
That effort, however, fell mostly flat, with at least 14 people shot over the weekend, three of them fatally, in a time when 50 shootings in two days is not out of the ordinary.