Would it have been worth it?
Thanks to some fine reporting by Crain's Chicago Business columnist Greg Hinz, we have at last discovered what taxpayers would have had to cough up to lure Amazon to locate its second headquarters here.
Among the eye-opening disclosures that came as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request and an exclusive interview with Deputy Mayor Bob Rivkin was the cost if Amazon had picked Chicago:
There's more, but one interesting sidelight was the coining of a new term to redefine clout--the Chicago Way's practice of having to know a guy in City Haul to get a zoning change, a quick license approval or any of the other ways to get the city's bureaucracy to get off its fat ass.
Call it "concierge service." As promised, Amazon would be entitled to receive "concierge" service in the city's Building Department to "reduce red tape on construction jobs and for its employees to be able to the same on home-related work."
In other words, Amazon and its employees could jump in front of the line of regular taxpayers for special favors. As if regular Chicagoans would have the privilege of coughing up more to make way for Amazon line-jumpers. Why not? Chicagoans long have been played for chumps by the same folks they have elected.
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