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The Mechanics
« Taibbi on Obama Finance Reform Sellout Illinois Democrats Put Off LGBT Rights...Again »

Chicago Sun Dec 06 2009

The Regressive Tax Regime

Fees and consumption taxes like the sales tax are essentially regressive. While those with more money spend more (and thus pay a larger dollar amount in sales taxes), the tax as a transaction is the same no matter how much of a proportion of your wealth it takes away. And fees are the same for everybody. The reliance of local governments on these taxes, and the concurrent shifting of federal tax dollars from cities to states, leaves regressive taxes, disproportionately impacting the working class, as the bedrock of local government funding.

Liquor isn't the only commodity taxed at higher rates from five years ago. In that time, various local governments have imposed a variety of higher taxes, fees and fines, with many increases topping 100 percent, a Chicago Sun-Times review found.

Moreover, most of the increases far outpaced the rate of inflation over the same period: 14.4 percent.

For most, there's no way to dodge these extra expenses. Stop driving to avoid the parking tax and meter hikes? You'll still have to pay more to ride the bus or L.

The sales tax for Chicagoans on everything but groceries went up by more than 17 percent, to 10.25 percent.

 
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Feature

Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

By Phil Huckelberry / 2 Comments

It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...

Civics

Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

By Ramsin Canon / 2 Comments

It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

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Mechanics is the politics section of Gapers Block, reflecting the diversity of viewpoints and beliefs of Chicagoans and Illinoisans. More...
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