Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  The Cook County Law Library is the second largest County law library in the nation.
   
     
     
     



Choose Chicago CEO blasts Preckwinkle's hotel tax

Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Crain's Chicago Business
by Greg Hinz

In an unusual public spat among local officials, the head of the city's convention and tourism agency is ripping Cook County Board President Tony Preckwinkle's plan to impose a 1 percent tax on hotel and motel rooms, after earlier boosting the county's sales tax by a penny on the dollar.

In an interview, Choose Chicago CEO Don Welsh said the hike "is the last thing we need," and he says it's already being exploited by competitors in other cities. (In case you're wondering, Welsh called me.)

Preckwinkle said the existing city hotel tax combined with the new county tax would still be lower than cities such as Montreal and Houston. "With all respect," Welsh said, "we don't compete against those cities," especially for conventions and trade shows.

Chicago competes against cities such as Atlanta, Los Angles and Orlando, Fla., and already had a tax higher than they do, Welsh said. And he cited a survey by a trade publication that shows the Windy City's combined taxes on hotel rooms is even higher than New York's and San Francisco's.

Preckwinkle apparently wasn't interested in hearing those facts, Welsh suggested, because she didn't bother to discuss or inform anyone in the hospitality industry before she announced her proposal.

"Before you make a decision like that, you have to think long and hard about the competitive effect on the the city," Welsh said. "We would have hoped we'd be able to get in a room with the president or her people and debate and talk about this and exchange data, instead of reading about it in the paper."

Welsh called on Preckwinkle to withdraw her plan but made it clear that, if she doesn't, "we will do what we can to talk about the implications" with Cook County Board members and others.

NO SIGNS OF BACKING OFF

Preckwinkle's office shows no inclination to back off the plan, which is expected to come for a vote in the board's Finance Committee at the end of the week.

"As the president said, we believe this to be a modest increase: $1/night additional on a motel room and $3-$4/night at a luxury hotel," her spokesman said in an email.

But Welsh said even that "is hurting," given Chicago's already lofty rates, with travel-industry publications writing about the city's rising rates.

It also comes at a bad time, with convention business down next year, several new hotels opening and Choose Chicago's promotions money caught up in the Springfield budget battle.

Welsh, who serves at the pleasure of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, insisted he did not clear his remarks to me with the mayor's office. "I'm just doing my job," he said.



Recent Headlines

Illinois Supreme Court sets civil, criminal fee schedule
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Seniors: Are your Cook County property taxes delinquent? Your home could be at risk
Thursday, February 14, 2019
WLS Abc 7 Chicago

Editorial: Look out, taxpayers: When governments have more pensioners than employees
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Hundreds of accused criminals on electronic monitoring are missing
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
ABC Channel 7

Glenview adopts Cook County minimum wage and sick leave ordinances, effective July 1
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit over property tax assessments survives challenge
Monday, February 11, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

EXPERIENCE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE FOREST PRESERVES THROUGHOUT WINTER
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Jail detainee dies at Stroger Hospital
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office Says Its Gang Database Is on Lockdown, but Questions Remain
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Pro Publica

Charges dismissed against man accused of threatening judge
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Daily Herald

Double Down: Twin Brothers Rehabbing Chicago
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Defender

Slowik: Residents, officials celebrate rehab work at public housing sites
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Daily Southtown

Class action: Evanston can't charge 'convenience fees' to people paying tickets online
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Cook County Rercord

390 arrested in nationwide prostitution sting, including 38 in Cook County
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

As we build a road, we will protect the forest preserves
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Campaign to weed out European buckthorn across the suburbs
Tuesday, February 05, 2019
Northwest Herald

Airbnb hosts in Cook County earned $109 million last year: report
Monday, February 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County senior exemption deadline extended
Monday, February 04, 2019
Daily Herald

Decadelong legal battle over Barrington Hills horse farm — eyed as huge forest preserve — may be nearing resolution
Monday, February 04, 2019
Chicago Tribune

EDITORIAL: Protect iconic forest preserve from concrete overkill
Sunday, February 03, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP