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Wednesday, the 28th, on the Floor of the Illinois House of Representatives, Speaker Michael Madigan plans to introduce legislation to fund mass transit shortfalls, for Chicago and Chicago Suburban Transit Agencies, including the CTA, METRA Rail, and PACE Suburban Bus, by diverting monies from the IL Gasoline Tax Collected in the six-county Chicago Metropolitan area - Cook, Lake, DuPage, Kane, Will, and McHenry Counties.  See the details of IL House Bill 3667 and IL Senate Bill 572 in Quorum Call Online, published by the Illinois Association of Realtors.

Previous debate on such legislation focused on increasing the Cook County Sales and Chicago Real Estate Transfer Taxes.  Both of these proposed solutions for solving met with hostile response from Chicago and Suburban politicians, Cook County residence opposing the increase in the sales tax - one of the highest in the U.S. - as well as Real Estate Practitioners, and those planning to buy or sell property

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley came out in favor of the plan today, as reported in today's Chicago Tribune, in an article by Gary Washburn, Tribune Staff Reporter.  He noted two potential problems in the way of the bill's passage - how to plug the funding hole statewide as a result of the diversion of this gas tax revenue, and probable complaints from Downstate IL lawmakers seeing the bill negatively impacting Downstate road and construction projects.  However, prospects for any sort of long-term bailout for regional mass transit excites the mayor of Chicago.

"I am very optimistic," Daley said. "There has been a lot of ideas floating. I think some of them are getting edged in regards to compromise...I think we look forward to a satisfied resolution, I hope tomorrow."

The bill has the support of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.  If the measure passes in the IL House, pressure for passage in the IL Senate would build.

Passing of needed transit funding would prevent the CTA's "Doomsday Scenario" for massive funding and service cuts, scheduled to take place in mid-January, 2008,  if additional money from the state of Illinois is not forthcoming.

Stay tuned!

NOTE:  The Transit Bailout Plan failed in the Illinois House on Wednesday,  November 28th, with the measure being voted down 57-53.  71 votes were needed for passage.  Downstate IL Lawmakers were concerned that the diversion of gas tax funds for the measure would very seriously impact funding of road and construction projects in their districts away from Chicago.  Read the Chicago Tribune article and accompanying video.

Dean & Dean's Team Chicago

Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 9:28 PM by Dean's Team


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