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Committee on Finance

City panel advances McCormick hotel plan

The City Council Finance Committee on Tuesday approved routing $55 million in Tax Increment Financing to a new McCormick Place hotel as the city and the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority shift the plans of their major convention center remake.

Under the revamped McCormick Place plan, which officials from the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel first floated in late January, the city will use the $55 million in TIF money to build the hotel instead of putting it toward the construction of a new DePaul University basketball stadium.

Ride-sharing crackdown gets support, opposition from alderman

$900 million city bond sale advances

A plan from Mayor Rahm Emanuel to issue up to $900 million in debt received the approval of the City Council Finance Committee Monday despite questions about how the city would use the proceeds and how much minority investors would profit. The committee additionally approved issuing a $1 billion Midway Airport Revenue Bond.

Lois Scott, Emanuel’s chief financial officer, told aldermen that the $900 million would be issued in two separate transactions, with a $400 million bond sale expected next month.

Smartphone 'kill switch' resolution supported by aldermen

E-cigarette ban in public places smolders in committee

Members of the City Council’s Health and Finance committees decided during a joint meeting Monday to defer the vote on an ordinance banning “e-cigarettes” in public places where tobacco products are already banned, such as restaurants. The ordinance would also build on a state ban this year of e-cigarette sales to minors by imposing a $1,000 fine to retailers caught selling electronic cigarettes to minors.

Referendums for March ballot set without elected school board item

Chicago's City Council Finance Committee on Monday approved placing three non-binding referendums concerning taxi rates, high-capacity firearm magazines and guns in restaurants on ballots in Chicago for the upcoming March elections.   

Emanuel, alderman strike last minute deal on cigarette tax

The City Council Finance Committee on Monday agreed to decrease Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposed cigarette tax increase from $0.75 per pack to $0.50 per pack. The move comes one day before aldermen vote on Emanuel’s proposed 2014 budget.

Under the budget amendment put forward by Emanuel’s office, the city makes up for the decrease in projected cigarette tax revenue by raising the fine for cars obstructing fire hydrants. Under Emanuel’s original budget proposal, such a fine increased from $100 to $110. With the revision, the penalty for a motorist obstructing a hydrant would be $150.

Wrigley Field tax break advances

The City Council Finance Committee approved on Tuesday an estimated $8.5 million in tax breaks over 12 years for Wrigley Field Holdings, LLC to offset some of the costs of the planned redevelopment of Wrigley Field.

Aldermen approved the tax break unanimously by voice vote and with no discussion, save an endorsement from Alderman Tom Tunney, whose 44th Ward includes the Cub’s baseball stadium. Tunney described the property tax relief as “another chapter” in the multi-layered and controversial plan to redo Wrigley Field and the immediate surrounding area.

Finance committee OKs Vienna Beef relocation deal

Members of the City Council Finance Committee on Friday approved a redevelopment agreement with Vienna Beef Company under which the Chicago-based hot dog maker will relocate to the South Side.

Racist rants from city employee to cost taxpayers $560,000