Video game tax is fair to my small business

This common-sense solution means small businesses will still be able to create jobs, invest and contribute to the community.

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Video gaming machines in 2014 at Trattoria Peppino, the first restaurant in Elmwood Park to be issued a video gaming license. Sun-Times file photo

As a small business owner in Blue Island, I applaud Illinois state Rep. Bob Rita, D-Blue Island, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and state lawmakers for taking a balanced approach to taxes on video gaming.

Rita did something that most politicians don’t do: he listened and found a common-sense solution to a problem.

Initially, a proposal was suggested that would have dramatically raised taxes on video gaming at my two Blue Island businesses, Double Play Saloon and Kathy’s Corner. If it would have been enacted, the proposal would have hurt my ability to hire workers, reinvest in my business and contribute to the community.

After sharing our concerns with Rita and Springfield lawmakers, they worked to find common ground.

The result is that rather than the proposed 20 percent tax increase on video gaming, they adopted a significantly scaled-back three percent increase. At the same time, Rita worked to allow small businesses like mine to increase the number of machines in our business from five to six, which I intend to do at both my small businesses.

I’ll still be able to create jobs, invest in my business and contribute to the community. It means my small businesses won’t lose a significant amount of revenue that have transformed operations in recent years.

At the same time, this solution also helps our state address budgetary concerns and much-needed infrastructure problems.

Thank you, Rita, Pritzker and lawmakers.

In a time when voters are accustomed to stalemates, bickering and feeling as though our voices aren’t heard, you listened and acted in the best interest of your constituents and the state of Illinois.

Tom Cheatle

Owner, Double Play Saloon and Kathy’s Corner

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July 1 was a dark and gloomy day for Illinois drivers and taxpayers. The governor signed a bill that doubles the state gas tax from 19% to 38%, making it harder for working class families to fill up at the pump.

The new law also raises the registration fees for cars to $151 and imposes harsh fees on parking at garages and lots.

All these regressive taxes and excessive fees mount up, adding to what we already must pay for vehicle insurance, sales taxes and property taxes. We are being punished more and more by politicians who just don’t get that we are being overwhelmingly taxed.

People in Chicago and Illinois are moving out because they can’t afford the taxes and fees.

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Presidential hopeful, Sen. Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey, is the only vegan candidate, and he’s been one for all the right reasons

Brien Comerford, Glenview

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