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What The Chicago Bears Can Teach Us About The "Tax The Rich" Realities


Unless you have been living under a rock somewhere, you have likely heard the left crying about "the rich" and the fact that they have too much while others have too little. That, generally speaking, is not a completely false narrative, but it also is not a completely truthful one, nor is it one that is as easy to solve as they say it is. Yet, is that not the general story of life?

 


 

Interestingly, however, we can find a perfect example of what the impact of their policies look like from an unexpected source, the Chicago Bears football team of the National Football League.


You see, the Bears ownership, spearheaded by the family Matriarch Virginia (Halas) McCaskey, recently purchased the old Arlington Downs horse racing track in Arlington Heights, which is a suburb to the northwest of Chicago. It is a relatively wealthy area, and the property was to be developed into a multiplex of entertainment, retail, and eatery establishments which would not only generate large revenue streams for the team, but become a major source of income for the city. Oh yes, and the team was going to invest over $2 Billion of its own dollars for the project. Yep they said they would pay for the building of the stadium all on their own and only wanted the city to help pay for the development of the rest of the property from which the city would benefit from multiple new revenues of property tax, sales tax, usage tax, hotel tax, alcohol tax, and so many others.


Yet, as with all things Illinois, enter the liberal philosophy of, "your fair share."


The school districts of Arlington Heights, sensing money to be thrown into the ever increasing black hole that is administrative spending on public education, took advantage of the situation to attempt to press a tax valuation well above the original valuation of the land. In fact, even though they knew the team had overpaid for the property, almost double what some thought it might go for, they said that because the Bears paid that for the property, it was obviously its real value and the team needed to be taxed at that rate.

After all, it is simply their, "fair share."


So what happened? The team balked.


Yes, as you can imagine, the team did not want to pay extra tax revenues to the city, particularly since the revenues when you move in are often the lowest they will ever get, and so, they tried to counter offer multiple times, but the city and the school districts held their ground. So the team did what any reasonable person would expect them to do, they pivoted.


Now the plans for the Arlington Heights property are on ice, possibly permanently, as many new overtures made by the city, after the team's announcement that they are now invested in staying in Chicago proper, seem to have fallen on deaf ears, much to the chagrin of the city leadership in Arlington Heights.


The Bears are taking their $2 Billion dollars back to Chicago, and now are looking at the same type of private/public partnership to create a similar entertainment plaza along the lakefront with a much larger population base to support it. That, my friends, would be a major win for the city of Chicago.


Yet, it is just as much a loss for Arlington Heights as even though that property will eventually get developed by the team's property portfolio management company, it will never be what it would have been had the Bears built that stadium there. In the end, the property valuation will go down significantly, and the school districts will end up with less then they were getting when the property was one contiguous operation moving multiple hundreds of millions of dollars a year as a horse racing center.


Yep, you guessed it. Just like in New York during COVID, or in California since the 1990s, when you extort the rich they do what anyone being extorted will do, they look for alternate options, and since they are rich, the easiest and most appealing option is to simply move.


After all, someone will be happy to take their money.


When you cap, over tax, press, or squeeze those who generate wealth, you simply push out the wealth makers. Just as Rome learned over time as the empire became more and more bureaucratic. Once you push out those who generate the wealth, the money inevitably dries up. After all, the easiest way to run out of someone else's money is to get them to leave so you do not have that money there to take in the first place.


We have seen it over and over and over again throughout the entirety of human history.


Funny how some people always think they can create a different result.

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