121 Report – CRMA – May 2017

In This Issue

Council Initiatives

CHICAGO CITY COUNCIL

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS

 

INTRODUCTIONS

HEAD TAX
Sponsors: Ald. Carlos Ramirez Rosa (35th Ward), Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30th Ward), Ald. Proco Joe Moreno (1st Ward) and 11 additional co-sponsors
Committee: Committee on Finance –

 

After filing a notice that he would motion to discharge his proposal to re-implement the Employer’s Expense Tax (Head Tax) from the Committee on Committees, Rules, and Ethics, Alderman Ramirez Rosa expected to take the matter up at last week’s City Council meeting. Instead, the committee scheduled a meeting to discharge the item to the Committee on Finance where it now sits.This proposal would assess a new tax on any business that has at least 50 full-time employees, commission merchants or any combination of the two. Full-time employees are defined as anyone who accrues at least $1000 in wages in any calendar quarter of a year from the same employer.The tax would be in the amount of $16/month for each commission merchant or full-time employee that works at least 50% of their time in the city of Chicago. The tax cannot be passed on to employees. It must be paid by the employer. The revenue from the tax will be transferred to support Chicago Public School operations.CRMA members will note that Mayor Rahm Emanuel repealed this tax back in 2013 after the industry advocated for years against the tax first implemented under former Mayor Richard M. Daley. The repeal, championed vigorously by Ald. Tom Tunney (44th Ward) and Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward), was a huge win for employers and was a signal that the Mayor put a high priority on removing barriers to hiring and encouraged businesses to grow in the city. This proposal is anti-growth, anti-hiring and anti-consumer. CRMA is OPPOSED.

 

MOBILE PHONE PRIVACY AWARENESS ACT
Sponsors: Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th Ward) and Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th Ward)
Joint Committee: Economic, Capital and Technology Development and FinanceCiting the inefficiency of pop-up consent advisories and notifications included in privacy policies, this proposal seeks to inform purchasers of mobile phones of the possibility that location services on the phone may be enabled and that data obtained through the use of those services may be retained, used and/or shared with 3rd parties. Retailers of mobile phones must include a notice to this effect at the point of sale/lease. The notice, which appears in the proposal, must also tell consumers to read agreements, privacy notices, user manuals and the phone’s instructions to learn about location services and how they can be disabled. Retailers would be subject to fines of between $150-$250 per violation. CRMA opposes any effort to clutter our POS areas with more notices that customers don’t read.

 

RENEWAL FEES FOR REGISTERED, VACANT BUILDINGS
Sponsor: Ald. George Cardenas (12th Ward) 
Committee: Finance
Owners of vacant buildings must currently register the building with the Department of Buildings within 30 days of the building becoming vacant and must renew the registration every 6 months. This proposal would change the renewal fee from the current $250 to an increased fee based on the amount of time the property has been vacant according to the following schedule:* $500 for properties that are vacant for at least one year but less than 2 years
* $1,000 for properties that are vacant for at least 2 years but less than 3 years
* $2,000 for properties that are vacant for at least 3 years but less than 5 years
* $3,500 for properties that are vacant for at least 5 years but less than 10 years
* $5,000 for properties that are vacant for at least 10 years, plus an additional $500 for each yearIf the owner is found to be in violation of the building or fire codes at the time of renewal, all fines have been increased. In the case that the owner defaults on the mortgage and the building becomes vacant and unregistered, the mortgagee is already required to register and renew if applicable. The renewal fee, which is either $400 or $700 annually, depending on the reason for the initial registration, will increase according to the following schedule:* $1,000 for properties that are vacant for at least one year but less than 2 years
* $1,500 for properties that are vacant for at least 2 years but less than 3 years
* $2,500 for properties that are vacant for at least 3 years but less than 5 years
* $4,500 for properties that are vacant for at least 5 years but less than 10 years
* $6,000 for properties that are vacant for at least 10 years, plus an additional $500 for each year in excess of 10 yearsCRMA is currently considering its position.

LICENSING OF MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENTS
Sponsors: Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th Ward), Ald. Michelle Harris (8th Ward), Ald. Michael Scott, Jr. (24th Ward) and 5 additional co-sponsors
Committee: License and Consumer Protection

This proposal would require businesses that offer massage services to obtain a regulated business license. Currently, such establishments are only required to obtain a general, limited business license. The  Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection would approve the license which would require each applicant to submit information on the types of massages offered, proof that employees are at least 18 years old, employment history of each applicant for the 3 years preceding the application, the previous experience of each applicant in the massage business, evidence of any previous business licenses for massage establishments revoked in any other jurisdiction, history of criminal violations and any lease information (if applicable). Licenses will be denied to any person found to have violated certain enumerated sections of the Municipal Code, and state offenses involving sexual misconduct with children, trafficking of persons, other sexual offenses or any other felony not excused by the Commissioner.

As a condition of the license, licensees must keep the premises clean and sanitized, display prices in a written price list, require employees to wear nontransparent clothing of all sensitive areas, require clients to cover sensitive areas, launder sheets and towels after each use, refrain from touching any client in a sexual/genital area, keep physical facilities in good repair, keep a year’s worth of records of services rendered, have clear glass entrances to the establishment, separate entrances/exits from residences, post a sign identifying the name of the establishment, post an advisory notice for the benefit of customers, disinfect all massage tables, lavatories and floors, provide a toilet facility and provide closed cabinets for storage for towels and linens.

Massage therapists must be licensed in order to work in the establishment, and licensees must keep a list of all employed massage therapists along with a copy of their license and state-issued photo ID. The license must be displayed in the establishment and any advertisements must also show the city license number. Licenses cannot be transferred. CRMA is currently considering its position.

PUBLIC COMMENTS AT COUNCIL MEETINGS
Sponsors: Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th Ward), Ald. Michelle Harris (8th Ward), Ald. Patrick O’Connor (40th Ward) and 3 additional co-sponsors
Committee: Committees, Rules and Ethics

The city is amending its Rules of Order and Procedure to allow for the public to comment on any matter being considered at the meeting. Comments will occur at the beginning of the meeting after the roll call and invocation. Remarks will be limited to 3 minutes after a formal request is submitted to the Sergeant-at-Arms. The public comment period will last for 30 total minutes. This comment period will be in addition to the public comments period already in place for committee meetings. Written comments can also be submitted to the full Council through the Sergeant-at-Arms.

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 28, 2017.

Contact Information
Tanya Triche Dawood
Vice President & General Counsel

312/726-4600

ttrichedawood@irma.org