CHICAGO - It has been revealed that Illinois taxpayers have been subsidizing Chicago area convention centers.
The reason? To offset high union labor costs and attract or retain large conventions.
According to the Chicago Sun Times, tax money paid to the state by hard working Illinoisans has been transferred to labor unions via large convention centers such as McCormick and Rosemont. According to the Sun-Times:
Over the past three years, $26.5 million from Illinois taxpayers has been spent to lure the International Housewares Association’s trade show, the Radiological Society of North America convention and 79 other shows to McCormick Place under an obscure provision of a 2010 law passed to save Chicago’s convention industry by lowering the cost of union labor, records show.
Another $10 million has gone to Rosemont, which uses the money to subsidize dozens of events at its village-owned convention center — including several editions of the International Gem & Jewelry Show — as well as to repair its parking garage and pay off debt.
While large sums of taxpayer money have been used to attract conventions, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel rejected any attempt to attract the 2016 Republican National Convention - despite the projected revenue the convention would have brought to his city.
Last week, the Republican National Committee - meeting in Chicago - officially announced Cleveland as the site for its 2016 convention.