The Chicago City Council on Wednesday is expected to approve the regulation and licensing of vacation rentals--a burgeoning market that will provide a new cash stream for city inspectors to shake down Chicagoans for bribes.
Just what Chicago needs.
It's already got an army of city inspectors out in the field, extorting bribes for adherence to a raft of city rules, regulations and ordinances for everything from plumbing to saloon licenses. (Recall the Chicago Sun-Times wonderful investigative series The MIrage.)
Now comes another "opportunity"--impose exorbitant license fees on folks who rent out their condo units or apartments over night or for a short period to vacationeers and others looking for something a little more comfy than a hotel room. It's been around for some time in Europe and is beginning to catch on in Chicago.
The stated reasons for the new licensing, regulation, inspection and fees seem reasonable enough: protecting both sides of the transaction from abuses by the other side. Yet....
First thought, it is one more of the continuing city efforts to nick visitors for more money to pay for the various schemes and corruption that is the hallmark of Chicago. Chicago is desperately in need of money to balance its budget.
On further reflection though, it will create just another scam for Chicago's boodlers. Inspectors finding niggling reasons squeezing a bribe out of landlords. Aldermen, hands extended, clearing the way for a license. Just think of the haul. Smell the meat a cookin'.
Posted April 24, 2015 at 3:42 pm
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Posted April 21, 2015 at 2:34 pm
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