WBEZ | McPier http://www.wbez.org/tags/mcpier Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Why Won’t Anyone Talk About The (Other) Rideshare Tax? http://www.wbez.org/news/transportation/why-won%E2%80%99t-anyone-talk-about-other-rideshare-tax-114150 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Uber tax (APJeff Chiu).jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">When Chicago City Council voted to allow drivers for companies like Uber to pick up passengers at O&rsquo;Hare and Midway airports as part of a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-city-council-approves-emanuels-challenging-budget-113540">budget deal</a>, the debate was heated.</p><p dir="ltr">Taxi drivers protested, saying that airport access for transportation network providers (TNP) would eliminate one of the few remaining exclusive privileges they have in commercial passenger services. City officials touted their decision as a compromise, because it also levied a $0.52 per ride tax on all TNP fares, as well as a $5 fee on rides beginning or ending at the airports, McCormick Place and Navy Pier.</p><p dir="ltr">Weeks later, there was much less publicity when an additional tax was slapped onto TNP rides.</p><p>&ldquo;They need to pay the fees that everybody else does,&rdquo; said Peter Enger, secretary of the United Taxidrivers Community Council, a group that lobbies for cabbie rights.</p><p dir="ltr">According to Enger, it was the UTCC that turned the McPier board&rsquo;s attention to the question of whether TNPs would be required to pay an additional $4 tax on each ride that leaves the airport. &ldquo;We inquired whether the TNPs would be allowed to pick up without paying the tax, or whether there was any plans to require them to pay the tax.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">On November 16, the board of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority &mdash; more commonly known as McPier &mdash; unanimously approved an amendment to its &ldquo;airport departure tax&rdquo; ordinance. It extended the $4 charge to include TNPs, with the tax effective immediately upon passage.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I knew nothing about it,&rdquo; said Mattia Nanfria, who drives roughly 50 hours a week on both the Lyft and UberX platforms. &ldquo;And I think it&rsquo;s pretty safe to say none of us really know anything about it.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">McPier has declined to comment about the tax, and WBEZ was forced to file a Freedom of Information request simply to view the language of the amended ordinance. A request to both the city&rsquo;s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection and the Department of Aviation was answered by a spokesperson who directed WBEZ to ask McPier about it. Uber has not responded to requests for comment. A Lyft spokesperson indicated that the company was aware of the tax, but did not answer questions about whether the company intends to pay.</p><p dir="ltr">Under the ordinance, &ldquo;it shall be the duty of each transportation network provider to collect the tax&hellip; and to remit the tax&rdquo; to McPier. The amendment also specifies that &ldquo;the tax becomes due and is payable on the 10th day of the calendar month following the calendar month in which the tax accrues&hellip;.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If I had to be honest, I don&rsquo;t think there is a $4 fee coming out of these fares,&rdquo; said Nanfria, who frequently picks passengers up at O&rsquo;Hare. &ldquo;Their fares are already low. If you&rsquo;re talking about they&rsquo;re taking another $4 out of already-low fare, it just doesn&rsquo;t seem sustainable to me.&rdquo; Nanfria said she has seen no indication in the charges that she or her passengers view on their smartphone screens that a $4 tax is charged to either the driver or passenger.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We are sure that it is not being collected at least from the drivers of the TNP vehicles, nor from the passengers,&rdquo; said Enger. &ldquo;I actually took an UberX car, myself, from the airport to a local hotel, just to test the system, and I was not charged an airport departure tax. So I know passengers are not paying it.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I would love to know if there&rsquo;s another tax that the TNCs are supposed to be paying,&rdquo; said Nanfria. &ldquo;Just something doesn&rsquo;t sit right with me about it if it&rsquo;s not being listed above-board and very transparently.&rdquo;</p><p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"><a href="https://www.scribd.com/doc/293055408/Airport-Departure-Tax-Ordinance" style="text-decoration: underline;" title="View Airport Departure Tax Ordinance on Scribd">Airport Departure Tax Ordinance</a></p><p><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="undefined" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="600" id="doc_51095" scrolling="no" src="https://www.scribd.com/embeds/293055408/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>Odette Yousef is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 11 Dec 2015 16:19:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/transportation/why-won%E2%80%99t-anyone-talk-about-other-rideshare-tax-114150 Attention downtown diners: 11.25 percent sales tax coming in 2016 http://www.wbez.org/news/attention-downtown-diners-1125-percent-sales-tax-coming-2016-112429 <p><p>Ever noticed grabbing a burger in Logan Square is just a bit cheaper than in Lakeview?</p><p>It&rsquo;s because of a little-known sales tax called the &ldquo;McPier tax,&rdquo; that hits a certain segment of the Chicago restaurant scene. Food and beverage purchases in and around the downtown area are taxed an additional 1 percent, which goes to the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, the group that owns and manages Navy Pier and McCormick Place.</p><p>And in 2016, the overall sales tax in that zone will grow another percentage point.</p><p>Last week, the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/cook-county-board-approves-tax-hike-sought-board-president-112397">Cook County board </a>narrowly approved a one-percentage-point tax hike, which will bring the sales tax in Chicago to 10.25 percent, one of the nation&rsquo;s highest. The proposal was introduced by Board President Toni Preckwinkle to help pay into the county&rsquo;s underfunded pensions. Nine board members approved the increase, which will kick in on January 1, 2016.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/mcpiermap.jpg" style="height: 682px; width: 340px; float: left;" title="The boundaries of the so-called 'McPier tax' area. (Courtesy Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority)" />For restaurant patrons that dine south of Diversey Parkway, north of the Stevenson Expressway, east of Ashland Avenue and west of Lake Michigan, the Cook County proposal means an 11.25 percent sales tax will be added to their tab in 2016. <a href="http://tax.illinois.gov/Businesses/TaxInformation/Sales/mpea.htm">The McPier tax</a> affects all food and beverage purchases prepared for &ldquo;immediate consumption,&rdquo; and that includes soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. A spokeswoman for MPEA said all money collected through that tax &ldquo;pay the debt service for MPEA Expansion projects.&rdquo;</p><p>John Corry, general manager of Lincoln Park restaurant <a href="http://www.maevechicago.com/">Maeve,</a> said he isn&rsquo;t against taxes in general, but he has a problem with how far north the McPier zone extends.</p><p>&ldquo;Who&rsquo;s coming to Maeve because somebody has a business meeting by Navy Pier or at McCormick Place?&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;No one is coming [from] these two places, but we&rsquo;re in that tax zone.&rdquo;</p><p>Corry said he&rsquo;d also like to see Wrigley Field or U.S. Cellular Field included in that zone, since tourists at Navy Pier or visitors to McCormick Place likely stop by the ballparks for games while they&rsquo;re in town. &nbsp;</p><p>Meanwhile, Preckwinkle has said that she may reevaluate the county tax hike if Springfield passes <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/preckwinkle-gets-her-pension-plan-past-senate-stops-short-calling-higher-taxes-110240">her pension reform bill</a>.</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is WBEZ&rsquo;s Chicago politics reporter. Follow her </em><em><a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a></em></p><p><em>Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the neighborhood Maeve is located in. The restaurant is in Lincoln Park.</em></p></p> Mon, 20 Jul 2015 12:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/attention-downtown-diners-1125-percent-sales-tax-coming-2016-112429 McPier now seeks better architecture for DePaul event center http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-06/mcpier-now-seeks-better-architecture-depaul-event-center-107737 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/hotel-arena-east-view.jpg" title="" /></div><p>Fearing the planned $195 million sports arena near McCormick Place could be an architectural missed-shot, McPier officials today announced they have redrafted the search for architects in hopes of getting a better design for the project.&nbsp;</p><p>Jim Reilly, CEO of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority&mdash;the agency commonly nicknamed &quot;McPier&quot;&mdash;said the original request for qualifications for architects was &quot;pretty specific to firms who had experience with sports facilities.&quot; McPier&#39;s original conceptual drawings of the project appear with this post. The peak-roofed building in the center of the above image represents the arena.</p><p>Reilly said the new pitch is aimed at also getting top-drawer architects who have never designed sports facilities, but would be willing to team with firms that have.</p><p>&quot;The Jeanne Gangs of the world&mdash;and I don&#39;t mean to point to her specifically,&quot; Reilly said, referencing the MacArthur Fellow whose firm, <a href="http://studiogang.net/" target="_blank">Studio Gang</a>, designed Aqua Tower at Columbus and Randolph. &quot;This way, some well-known or up-and-coming designer with no arena experience can apply. And in Phase 2 [of the process] they can team up with someone who does know that. That&#39;s our hope.&quot;</p><p>But can potentially better architecture make the project go down easier among critics who believe the 10,000-seat areana is a bad fit for the area? The center, which will also contain meeting spaces and will also be home to the DePaul Blue Demon basketball program, is planned for an area bounded by 21st Street, Indiana Avenue, Cermak Road, and Prairie Avenue?</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s a tall order to come up with a design that can accommodate everything they want to accommodate,&quot; said Tina Feldstein, president of the Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance, a group that opposes the stadium. &quot;It&#39;s a bad deal, period. No matter which way you slice it or dice it.&quot;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/hotel-event-center-map.jpg" title="" /></div><p>Reilly said designing the stadium in a relatively small site near a residential neighborhood could be a tricky enterprise.</p><p>&quot;While I don&#39;t agree with the neighbors who just don&#39;t want [us] to build, I do agree with them that the typical arena has blank walls,&quot; Reilly said. &quot;We don&#39;t want a blank wall....&quot;</p><p>Under the plan, architects would submit their qualifications and experience to McPier officials. The agency, with the help of advisors, would select three to five finalists who would each receive a $50,000 stipend to submit detailed design concepts in a second phase. The winner would be picked by late August. McPier used a similar tact last year to select a design firm in charge of renovating Navy Pier. <a href="http://www.fieldoperations.net/" target="_blank">James Corner Field Operations</a> won the bid and the competition drew proposals from world-class architects such as <a href="http://www.fosterandpartners.com/">Norman Foster</a>, <a href="http://www.zaha-hadid.com/" target="_blank">Zaha Hadid</a> and <a href="https://www.som.com/" target="_blank">Chicago&#39;s SOM</a>.</p><p>Reilly said he wasn&#39;t sure if the stadium would attract architects of that caliber, &quot;but that is our hope.&quot;</p><p>The project also includes a 1,200 room hotel announced with the stadium on March 16. Reilly said the architect selected for the stadium would also be called to create design guidelines for an adjacent 500-room hotel to be developed later by a yet-to-be-selected private developer. He said the new approach won&#39;t affect the pricetag. The project is being supported with $70 million from DePaul, $70 million in bonds sold by McPier and $55 million in city of Chicago tax increment finance funds.</p><p><em>Lee Bey blogs about architecture for WBEZ. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/LEEBEY" target="_blank">@LEEBEY</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 18 Jun 2013 00:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-06/mcpier-now-seeks-better-architecture-depaul-event-center-107737 Quinn, Emanuel appoint McCormick Place Board http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-emanuel-appoint-mccormick-place-board-96964 <p><p>Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel have appointed eight members to the board that runs the McCormick Place convention center.</p><p>State law gives them each four appointments to the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority.</p><p>Quinn's appointees include attorney Carmen Lonstein and union leaders Ronald Powell, Bob Reiter and Becky Strzechowski.</p><p>Emanuel is appointing former state Comptroller Dan Hynes, retired ComEd CEO Frank Clark Jr., Bank of America executive Julie Chavez and Roger Kiley Jr., an attorney who was Mayor Richard Daley's chief of staff in the 1990s.</p><p>In a news release Monday, Emanuel says it is important to have a good team in place because McCormick Place is essential to Chicago's economic future. Quinn says the appointees have the experience need to attract new tradeshows.</p></p> Mon, 05 Mar 2012 15:44:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-emanuel-appoint-mccormick-place-board-96964 Quinn says he will not let a 'cloud of uncertainty' fall over Illinois convention industry http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-says-he-will-not-let-cloud-uncertainty-fall-over-illinois-convention-industry-89675 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-26/quinndent.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said Tuesday that he hopes to avoid calling a special session of the legislature in September over work-rule changes at McCormick Place convention center.</p><p>The governor met with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and legislative leaders Tuesday morning to discuss the issue, but did not ultimately come to any conclusions. Quinn said he doesn't want to wait for a court resolution, which could take an indefinite amount of time.</p><p>"Here in Chicago, [the] state of Illinois, this is the place to come if you want a convention, the best place in America," he said. "But if we have to fine-tune the law in order to get everything done right, so be it. We're going to do it."</p><p>The governor has set a September 13 date for lawmakers to return to Springfield and discuss the issue.</p><p>"I would say to every member of the general assembly: be there, let’s get the job done, if we can between now and then work it out with those involved in the lawsuit and settle the case, the law favors settlements, I’m all for that," he said.</p><p>A federal judge ruled in March that many of the labor reforms lawmakers wanted at McCormick were illegal because they went beyond the terms of union contracts. The judge also ruled legislators overturned collective bargaining rights in violation of the National Labor Relations Act. Some conventions have pulled out of the city because of the high cost of hosting events at McCormick.</p><p>Lawmakers had hoped the relaxed work rules would bring more conventions to Chicago.</p></p> Tue, 26 Jul 2011 21:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-says-he-will-not-let-cloud-uncertainty-fall-over-illinois-convention-industry-89675 Quinn wants meeting about McCormick labor rules http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-wants-meeting-about-mccormick-labor-rules-88280 <p><p>Illinois Governor Pat Quinn wants labor groups and legislators to come together to form new labor rules for Chicago's McCormick Place.</p><p>"I intend to bring folks together from all these different sectors and we'll just hash out a law that will survive any kind of legal scrutiny," he said. "That's imperative and I want to tell all our conventioneers that this is going to happen."</p><p>U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman issued an injunction Wednesday on state-imposed rules for the convention center. He said the reform overturned collective bargaining rights specified in the National Labor Relations Act.</p><p>Quinn told reporters Thursday he knew the legislation would be problematic, and is ready to start over.<br> &nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 23 Jun 2011 21:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-wants-meeting-about-mccormick-labor-rules-88280 McPier trustee Jim Reilly talks potential changes with new Navy Pier management http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/mcpier-trustee-jim-reilly-talks-potential-changes-new-navy-pier-management <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//Navy Pier_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.mpea.com/">The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority</a>, commonly known as McPier, currently oversees both <a target="_blank" href="http://www.mccormickplace.com/">McCormick Place</a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.navypier.com/">Navy Pier</a>.</p><p>But on Wednesday, Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority trustee Jim Reilly announced that Navy Pier would now be managed and run by a new non-profit corporation. Reilly has long advocated for separating the Pier from McCormick Place, including in his report last week to the Illinois General Assembly on McPier&rsquo;s future. The move is a big deal as Navy Pier is Illinois&rsquo; top tourist destination.</p><p>To learn more about what it means for the Pier &quot;Eight Forty-Eight&quot; spoke to Reilly.</p><p><em>Music Button: The Aqua Velvets, &quot;Aqua Nova&quot;, from the CD Guitar Noir, (Milan) </em></p></p> Thu, 06 Jan 2011 15:40:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/mcpier-trustee-jim-reilly-talks-potential-changes-new-navy-pier-management