Midwest Memo: Chicago may eliminate head tax, Detroit prioritizes its neighborhoods

Three stories making news across the Midwest today:

1. Head tax faces guillotine. Mayor Rahm Emanuel pledged to end the city’s head tax on businesses with 50 or more employees during his campaign. Now Chicago aldermen are negotiating what comes next, according to our partner station WBEZ. Companies with 50 or more employees are taxed $4 per month per each full-timer on the payroll. Although the city generates $20 million in revenue each year, some officials are concerned the tax discourages expansion.

2. Detroit mayor unveils overhaul. The city of Detroit will no longer treat its neighborhoods equally. They will instead be designated as steady, transitional or distressed, and city services will be prioritized in certain areas, according to The Detroit News. Detroit mayor Dave Bing said the move is a “short-term intervention strategy” to save certain neighborhoods. The redeployment strategy begins in two weeks. “We must be smarter about how we align our resources,” Bing told The News.

3. Ford building second India factory. Following in the footsteps of rivals General Motors and Tata Motors, Ford announced today it would build a factory in the western state of Gujarat in India. The $906 million facility will be operational in 2014, according to Bloomberg. The factory is Ford’s second in India, with another plant located in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Analysts said the move gives Ford access not only to northern India, but perhaps to the European market as well.

Midwest Memo: Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cleveland's Hopkins International Airport is about to get a makeover. Photo courtesy of Rick Jackson / ideastream.

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is getting a $1.6 billion makeover. Some of the work is already underway, but completing the construction can take anywhere between 10 to 24 years. Airport officials say the current airport is poorly functional and too small.

Ohio Governor John Kasich is discouraging voters from approving school levies in November. Many school districts say if the proposed cuts in Kasich’s budget become reality, they’ll be forced to ask taxpayers for support. But the governor said no school district will be cut by more than 8 percent, and raising taxes will only discourage businesses from moving in.

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