Candidates discuss commuter tax, gambling on Day 2 of Tribune forum

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CHICAGO — Five mayoral candidates traded jabs in front of the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board Wednesday for Day 2 of their forum.

Illinois Comptroller Susanna Mendoza, Attorney John Kozlar, former Alderman and Mayoral candidate Bob Fioretti, circuit court clerk Dorothy Brown and former schools CEO and gubernatorial candidate Paul Vallas all appearing before the editorial board Wednesday.

A good part of the time dealt with dealing with the city’s massive pension debt.

Mendoza said she is in favor of picking up where Rahm Emanuel is leaving off by issuing obligation bonds. Kozlar is for what he calls a reallocation of resources.

Fioretti said one possibility to raise money would be to impose a commuter tax on suburbanites working in the city and eliminating the ban on video gambling.

Dorothy Brown did not rule out video gambling but prefers a Chicago-specific lottery and tapping into more money somehow at the CME group and the Options Exchange.

Vallas didn’t rule pension obligation bonds out but believes there are ways to meet the pension obligation such as leveraging revenue from expiring tax increment finance districts and tapping into.

All 15 mayoral candidates are in favor of legalizing marijuana for recreational use and most support a Chicago based casino.

The last five candidates appear before the board on Thursday.


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