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Chamber@Work | Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
February 7, 2014
City Council Update
Chicago Head Tax Expires

January 1, 2014 marked the official end of Chicago's Employer Expense Tax also commonly called the "head tax" on employers within the City of Chicago. Eliminating the head tax has been a long-time initiative of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. The tax had been a burden on Chicago businesses with 50 or more employees for over 30 years, penalizing successful employers with a tax on each employee per month. 
In 2011, Mayor Emanuel and City Council approved the Chamber supported ordinance to phase out the head tax from a rate of $4.00 per employee until its elimination at the start of 2014. Chicago businesses are estimated to save nearly $5 million with the end of the tax.
The Chamber commends Mayor Emanuel and the City Council for ending the burdensome tax on Chicago businesses.  
Mayor Emanuel Calls on President Obama to Raise Minimum Wage

Mayor Rahm Emanuel along with Aldermen Mitts, Burns, Thompson and Pawar introduced a resolution at the February 5th City Council meeting expressing support for the President Obama's proposal to raise the federal minimum wage. The resolution was assigned to the Committee on Budget and Government Operations.
The Chamber opposes raising the minimum wage at this time while the Chicago and national economy continues to slowly recover from the recent historic economic recession. The Chamber is opposed to legislative efforts to raise Illinois's minimum wage in the Illinois General Assembly. Illinois currently has the highest minimum wage amongst Midwest states and the sixth highest in the nation. Raising Illinois's minimum wage could greatly put the state at a competitive disadvantage with our neighboring states. An increase of the federal minimum wage, although not preferable, would at least keep Illinois competitive. Click here to read the Resolution.
The following ordinances were introduced at the February 5, 2014 City Council meeting. 

Smartphone Kill Switch (Ald. Burke & Fioretti)
The ordinance would require that any smartphone sold within the City of Chicago to be equipped with a remote antitheft feature. A "smartphone" is defined by the ordinance to include cellular telephone, tablet computer or other similar portable device with a mobile operating system transmitting data over a wireless connection. Wireless providers and manufacturers would be prohibited from charging a fee, surcharge or tariff to consumers for including the "kill switch." Click here to view a copy of the ordinance.
Grease Container Identification (Ald. Reilly)
The ordinance would require every person or entity locating or maintaining a grease container on the public way to clearly label the container with the name of the business, name and telephone phone number of the person providing the service for the container and name of the person responsible for payment for service of the container on the outside of the container. Click here to view a copy of the ordinance.
Prohibitions on Additional Liquor Licenses (Ald. Moreno)
The ordinance would include facilities with the principal activities of manufacturing alcoholic liquor, brew pubs, craft breweries, wineries and craft distilleries and where the retail on-premise sale of alcoholic liquor is incidental to those activities to the list of premises that no ordinance can be introduced to prohibit the issuance of additional liquor licenses. Click here to view a copy of the ordinance.
Alcohol Sales at Outdoor Patios in Central Business District (Ald. Reilly)
The ordinance proposes to permit the sale of alcoholic beverages at outdoor patios in the central business district between the hours of 12:01 am and the legally established hour of opening. The ordinance would expire on December 1, 2014. Click here to view a copy of the ordinance.
Parking Restrictions in Central Business District (Ald. Reilly)
The ordinance proposes changes to parking prohibitions to unlawfully park a vehicle in the Central Business District. Click here to view a copy of the ordinance.
Transit Facility Eligibility Requirements (Ald. Reilly)
The ordinance proposes to make changes to the floor area bonuses and ratios for residential developments in downtown districts for Transit Facilities Improvements. The maximum bonus for floor area ratios (FAR) would change to 25% of base FAR from the current 20%. Click here to view a copy of the ordinance.
Transportation Network Providers License (Mayor Emanuel, Ald. Mitts)
The ordinance would create a new license and regulatory framework for "transportation network service" defined as a prearranged transportation service offered or provided for compensation using an internet-enabled application or digital platform to connect potential passengers with transportation network drivers. Service providers such as Uber would be defined as a transportation network provider. The proposed annual fee for the new license would be $25,000 for the provider plus $25 for each transportation network driver registered with the applicant on the day of application. The ordinance includes other regulations and requirements for operating within the City of Chicago. Click here to view a copy of the ordinance.
Call for Enforcement of Transportation Network Providers (Ald. Beale & Burke)
The resolution calls upon the Superintendent of Police and the Commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection "to take all necessary action to enforce the municipal code of Chicago against any and all transportation network providers unlawfully operating as de facto taxicab and livery companies within the City of Chicago." Click here to view a copy of the resolution.
Regulate Retail Sale of Dogs and Cats (Clerk Mendoza,
The ordinance would restrict the sale of dogs or cats by retail pet shops, businesses or other commercial establishments unless the dogs or cats are obtained from an animal control center, animal care facility, or a private, charitable, nonprofit humane society or animal rescue organization. Click here to view a copy of the ordinance.
Prohibition on Horse-Drawn Carriages (Ald. Burke)
The ordinance would eliminate the license and prohibit the operation of horse-drawn carriages in the City of Chicago. Click here to view a copy of the ordinance.
The next City Council meeting is scheduled for March 5, 2014.

Upcoming Public Policy Events
Chamber Logistics & Mobility Forum Meeting
Chamber members are welcome to attend a luncheon meeting of the Logistics & Mobility Forum.
Guest speakers include:
Donald Orseno, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Metra
Christopher Bushell, Chief Infrastructure Officer/Senior Vice President, CTA
Carole Morey, Chief Planning Officer, CTA
Click here to register for the meeting.
Time and Date:
Friday, February 14, 2014
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
The Wrigley Building
410 N. Michigan Ave, Ste. 900


Public Policy Committee
Mark Segal, Chair, The Habitat Company | Susan Sher, Vice-Chair, University of Chicago Hospital | Wes Lujan, Union Pacific Railroad | Micheal Foley, UPS | James Kane, Kane & Co. | Kevin Lennon, CME Group | Curtis Mabry, Veolia Environmental Services | Anil Anuja, CCJM | Manny Sanchez, Sanchez Hoffman Daniels | Ira Azulay, Immigration Attorneys, LLP | Kevin Scanlan, MCHC | Robin L. Brown, Ingredion Incorporated | Pat Cermak, Wight & Company | Harry Seigle, The Elgin Company 

Public Policy Division
John Carpenter, Senior Vice President External Affairs

Christopher Johnson, Director of Advocacy & Communications
Katie Hamilton, Manager of Committees & Programs
Chamber Policy Consultant
Joan Parker
Joan A. Parker Government Affairs
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
The Wrigley Building
401 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 900 Chicago, IL 60611
312.494.6700 |
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