LAKE BARRINGTON… State Representative Martin McLaughlin (R-Barrington Hills) from the 52ND House District released the following statement over the ongoing Chicago Bears stadium discussion.
Rep. McLaughlin said, “Over the last three years, General Assembly Democrats never missed an opportunity to inject – equity, equity, equity – into every resolution and proposal. As an investor and pension manager, the word “equity” means something very different to me and my clients – it means ownership.
“I am all for building a new Bears stadium outside of Chicago, in Arlington Heights, Naperville, or wherever… but to do so without using taxpayers’ money. In Illinois, the state flag should include the motto “Quid Pro Quo”.
“I mean, it is already likely that mayors, aldermen, representatives, senators, trustees, and county commissioners are out there maneuvering to get something for “their” communities from this project.
“I would not be shocked if local, regional, and state taxpayers will find themselves put on the hook for a significant portion of this potential $8 billion development. If that happens, we need to talk about real equity or ownership.
“Let us say the Bears franchise ends up being worth $4 to 5 billion after the stadium is constructed. Well, whatever the total percentage politicians hit up the taxpayers, the taxpayers should receive an equity ownership equivalent to their investment.
“If it is $500 million or 10% of the total franchise value, the taxpayers deserve 10% equity in the entire operation – everything from personal seat licenses to television commercial revenue to hot dogs and beer.
“How about the taxpayers and citizens actually get something from their investment for once? I know it’s a novel concept to some.
“Right now, all we receive is higher taxes. After the stadium is built and we actually go to the venue to enjoy a game, we will be treated to ticket taxes, hotel taxes, liquor taxes, food taxes, parking taxes and concession taxes, and I am certain more taxes not mentioned here.
“I am curious to see if my Democrat friends and colleagues really want equity … if they really believe in equity. I certainly hope so.
“Maybe for once, the little guy might actually get a piece of the action. Now, this would be equity participation everyone could support.”