Chico trying to score off Emanuel tax proposal

February 1, 2011

(Getty/File)
Gery Chico

Chicago mayoral candidate Gery Chico keeps trying to get mileage out of rival Rahm Emanuel's proposal to tax some services. The former school board head has been holding press conferences to highlight services he says could be taxed if Emanuel's plan becomes law. On Monday, Chico picked a health club.

"Rahm Emanuel's insensitive plan hits neighborhood gyms with a new 9-percent service tax," Chico said.

Emanuel's campaign says that's just not true. Health club memberships would not be taxed, he said, but high-brow private club memberships would be, along with other "luxury goods."

Chico says this confusion underscores the on-the-fly nature of Emanuel's plan.

"It's like a Rorschach test," he said. "It changes every day you look at it."

Emanuel's campaign has declined to provide a complete list of what services he'd liked to see taxed. Spokesman Ben LaBolt said that is because such details would fall to the Illinois General Assembly, but he said Emanuel would not support a tax increase on anything used by those he called "working families." And the money raised by taxing luxury items, LaBolt said, would allow for everything else to be taxed a bit less.