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Letters to the Editor

We can’t look only at tax hikes to solve our city’s financial problems

Mayoral candidate Gery Chico is interviewed by reporter Fran Spielman in the Sun-Times newsroom Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Mayoral candidate Gery Chico is interviewed by reporter Fran Spielman in the Sun-Times newsroom on Sept. 21, 2018. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

I read your Oct. 31 editorial about proposals to raise revenue through legalization of marijuana and casino gaming, and I believe that you misunderstood my thought on the issues. That’s this: you cannot simply — and only — look to increase taxes on people to solve financial problems.

The tax crank has turned mightily on Chicagoans over the last several years.

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They deserve our best thinking on pursuing alternative revenue ideas as part of a truly smart revenue policy. Does that mean tax increases are off the table? No. No one who is a responsible leader would ever suggest that. However, the legalization of marijuana and gaming are potential revenue sources to fill any budget hole — and, as I said earlier this week, Chicago must be at the table if they become law. We would be irresponsible to not seek a large piece of the pie and let Springfield have all of the revenue.

As president of the Illinois State Board of Education, I worked with Sen. Andy Manar to initiate Senate Bill 1. I was told that it would be nearly impossible to change the state’s school funding formula. But you know what, with a lot of hard work and cooperation with elected officials, that bill eventually passed and Chicago Public Schools now receive hundreds of millions of dollars from Springfield without putting additional burden on the backs of taxpayers.

I’ve put together many budgets — both in the public and private sectors — and I’m always leery when someone uses the words “level with people” or that they have a “well-designed tax plan” because it usually means there is a tax increase coming.

The voters’ wallets are not bottomless pits. They deserve better from us.

Gery Chico
Mayor of Chicago

Chicago can’t leave money on the table

Your Wednesday editorial about a casino for Chicago and legalizing marijuana missed the point. Sure, we need to cut spending and raise revenue from various sources. And politicians misappropriating revenue streams is problem. This does not justify leaving money on the table by not legalizing weed, allowing gambling in the city, and even allowing sports betting. Instead, we encourage people to leave the city to spend money and generate tax revenue elsewhere.

Earl Weiss, Uptown

Voting for Dems spells disaster

You tell readers to vote only for Democrats for Congress. But a vote for any Democrat for any office anywhere is a vote for socialism, government-controlled health care, yadda yadda yadda. The kids don’t even know what socialism is. Purposefully. You like how they treat you down at the DMV? That’s how they’ll treat you when you’re in the medical “system.”  It will be like the criminal justice “system” — the lowest common denominator. Libs will never see this. Venezuelans are seeing it now.

Mike Blanchard, Cicero