During the course of the last year, we have had a deluge of talking points from the right side of the blogosphere, all in an effort to sway the elections their way. We have heard about how property taxes and sales taxes are too high, that light rail is the devil's work, and that the KRM would be just a waste of taxpayers' money, to name but a few.
These talking points helped get Scott Walker re-elected this past spring. He even ran commercials on the subject of taxes, and how an increase in taxes would drive Miller out of town:
Well, I guess that didn't work out as promised. MillerCoors announced that they will be moving their headquarters to Chicago, along with a couple hundred high-paying white collar jobs.
But their move wasn't based on taxes (emphasis mine):
In addition to being a neutral site, Chicago presents a more attractive location than either Milwaukee or Denver for the marketing talent that MillerCoors needs to be successful, Long said.
Chicago also boasts O'Hare International Airport, the world's second busiest airport. O'Hare offers global air connections, an important consideration for a company that is partly owned by London-based SABMiller.
Long said those factors outweighed the higher cost of doing business in downtown Chicago, where a specific site for the headquarters has not yet been disclosed.
He said taxes were not a deciding factor in evaluating headquarters sites, which included Dallas as a finalist. Illinois has a corporate tax rate of 7.3%, according to the Federation of Tax Administrators. That compares with 7.9% in Wisconsin, 4.63% in Colorado and 0.5% to 1% in Texas.
Need I point out that Chicago also has a high quality mass transit system, that includes a rail component?
Even though their headquarters will be in Chicago, MillerCoors has promised to not only leave their brewery here, but invest heavily into it in order to expand production. With their headquarters there, and their brewery here, I wonder what they would say about having a nice, efficient rail system connecting them?
Meanwhile, due to insufficient revenues, our parks and transit systems are being found to be subpar. It is way beyond time for the people's voice to be heard, and the sales tax referendum needs to be allowed to happen, before we lose more businesses and people due to the poor quality of life Milwaukee County is becoming known for.
Contact your County Board Supervisor and urge him or her to override Walker's veto on July 24th. If you don't know who your supervisor is, you can find out by clicking here.