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Taxpayers Shouldn’t Have to Bear the Cost of New Bears Stadium

Aug 2, 2022 by AFP

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL — Americans for Prosperity – Illinois (AFP-IL) today urged members of the Arlington Heights Village Board to adopt an anti-corporate welfare ordinance and reject proposals that would build a new Chicago Bears stadium with taxpayer money.

AFP-IL Deputy State Director Brian Costin released the following statement:

Billionaires can afford to build their own stadiums without special deals forcing Arlington Heights taxpayers to bear the cost.

“The NFL is the richest sports entertainment company in the world and just signed an 11-year $110 billion media deal worth $3.43 billion per team. As such, the Bears can afford to build a state-of-the-art stadium in Arlington Heights without selling a single ticket, jersey, or hot dog. Any taxpayer subsidy or special tax break would just be padding the profits of billionaires at the expense of other businesses and residents.”

“By enacting an Anti-Corporate Welfare Ordinance, Arlington Heights would declare an end to the economically destructive and corrupt policies of corporate welfare. When select corporations get special tax breaks, subsidies, and loopholes other businesses and residents have to pay more in taxes to make up for it.”

AFP-IL is urging the Arlington Heights Village Board to create an Anti-Corporate Welfare Ordinance to declare an end to the economically destructive and corrupt policy of corporate welfare.

The Village of Arlington Heights has a special “initiation of ordinance” ordinance (below) that allows citizens to propose new ordinance to the Village Board. This unique village ordinance provides a pathway for a binding referendum by collecting petition signatures from local registered voters and ultimately a formal vote by the village board. AFP-IL is more than halfway through collecting signatures from residents and intends to submit the below draft ordinance to the Village of Arlington Heights.

BACKGROUND:

The Arlington Heights ordinance as well as AFP-IL’s draft ordinance can be found HERE.

Arlington Heights Anti Corporate Welfare Draft Ordinance

SECTION 2. BAN OF CORPORATE WELFARE PROGRAMS. The Village of Arlington Heights is prohibited from offering or extending any financial incentive to any business or corporation to operate in the village.

SECTION 3. DEFINITIONS. For use in this ordinance, “incentive” means any economic, financial benefit, or other incentives, including, but not limited to, those authorized under the Property Tax Code, the Counties Code, the Illinois Municipal Code (including, but not limited to, the Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act), or any other provision of law authorizing abatements, credits, loans or tax or fee reductions.

Village Code Section 2-204

c. Initiation of Ordinances. The Village Board, upon petition by at least one percent of the registered voters of the Village as computed at the last general election at which Representatives to the United States Congress were elected, shall consider any proposal contained in the petition to amend, add to or delete from the general ordinances contained in the Municipal Code of 1995, as amended. The petition shall be filed with the Village Clerk at least ten days prior to a regularly scheduled Village Board meeting at which consideration of the matter is sought. The filing of the petition shall require placing of such matter upon the agenda for consideration by the President and Board of Trustees.

Any petitioner dissatisfied with the outcome of the one percent petition procedure of the preceding paragraph may invoke the 12 percent petition procedure of this paragraph. The Village Board shall upon petition of at least 12 percent of the registered voters of the Village as computed at the last general election at which Representatives to the United States Congress were elected, consider any proposal contained in said petition to amend, add to or delete from the general ordinances contained in the Municipal Code of 1995, as amended. Said petition shall be filed with the Village Clerk at least ten days prior to a regularly scheduled Village Board meeting at which consideration of said matter is sought. The Village Board shall either pass the proposed ordinance in substance within 90 days after the proposal appears on the Board agenda, or the proposal shall be submitted to a vote of the electors at the next regularly scheduled election, unless it is rejected by the Village Board of Trustees upon advice of the Village Attorney stating that the proposed ordinance is in conflict with any Constitutional provision, existing statutes or ordinances of other preempting jurisdictions. Any such petition shall appoint three managers who shall serve as spokespersons and shall have the power to withdraw the petition after the Village Board action on such petition, if a majority of such managers are satisfied with such action.

Any ordinance adopted by initiative may be repealed by the Village Board or by initiative as provided herein.