Monday, March 19, 2018

I Think Ives Might Pull It Off

If she does, I think Rauner can look in the mirror and blame himself for the campaign that he ran. Also an Ives win will not bode well for the entire party in November.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Sports Betting In Illinois

The Supreme Court heard the Christie v NCAA case that seeks to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992.  If successful, this would likely make it legal for states to allow and regulate sports betting.  

So let's say it is successful, it seems to me that it would make sense for Illinois to allow such gambling and try to generate revenues from it.  Here are some ways I could see it happening.

The Illinois Lottery:

The lottery would perhaps be the easiest way to bring this to the state relatively quickly. 

The lottery could develop a parlay game.That is you have to get multiple bets correct in order to win and then do it either as a para-mutual game (where the winners split the pot) or just underwrite the game extensively. 

So, for example, you had a parlay card where you predicted the winners of 5 football games.  Let's say this game generated $1,000,000 in bets in a given week. The state could take 10% off the top for taxes, and let's say the operator took 10% of what was left for operating fees and vendor rewards.  That would leave $810,000 in the prize pool.  Those who got 5 out of 5 would split 90% of the pot and those who got 4 out of 5 would split the remaining 10%.  

Streight up betting on events:

I think this might be harder to implement this for the lottery because it would create basically a large set of products (one for each sporting event as it were). It would also increase the lottery's risk in case a bet didn't go its way.  It could eliminate that risk by making each individual event a para-mutual type bet but depending on the event the pool would be too small to be interesting for a bettor.

The Tracks and their OTB facilities as betting facilities:

This might be an easier implementation than the lottery options.  Just let them operate like William Hill, betfair or Bet Fred for example. The state could generate revenues by just taking a slice of every bet and could require the operators to kick some of the revenue to the horse racing industry by increasing purses.  This would likely make the tracks and the racing industry very happy and would make sports betting available, but not everywhere.

Video Poker Locations:

Allow an additional machine that would take sports bets. However instead of the facility taking on the bet risk (which seems a bit too risky to me, yes that is kind of ironic) that there would be underlying operators (the machine owners) who could set odds and payouts.   No single underlying operator could operate more than 25% of the locations in the state that would have the units.  The state could take a cut of the bets or just a cut of the revenues.

Complete Stand Alone Betting Shops:

This would be the longest option to implement, but it would be an option.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Tesla Semi and Other Electric Semi Trucks Are Going to Screw Up Road Budgets.

So the electric semi truck from Tesla and others are coming shortly.  There is a host of advantages to this technology coming out now, obviously, the reduction in pollution, improved safety features, reduction in noise are all going to be advantages.

However what happens to state and local transportation budgets when tax revenues from commercial diesel fuel sales start to decrease?  

Here are just some of the tax/local revenue impacts of this technology
  • Reduced fuel taxes going into the road fund.
  • Reduced fuel sales at local truck stops and gas stations selling commercial diesel
  • Reduced video gaming revenue for local municipalities and the state of Illinois.  The largest revenue video poker locations are almost all truck stops.  
  • Reduced ancillary revenues at truck stops, if you don't have to stop at a truck stop to fuel up you don't go in to buy stuff.
  • Reduced revenues from taxes on ancillary truck supply and maintenance spending.  If it is like the electric cars, they are not going to need to get oil changes.   

You are either going to have to tax these trucks on a per-mile basis or figure out some sort of way to make up for the motor fuel tax losses.  There is some time before these become wide scale, 2022 perhaps, when it happens (and it is going to happen because of the lower project cost per mile) it is going to be a significant change to how good are moved over medium distances in this country.

Monday, August 14, 2017

A Post I Think I Need To Repeat

Monday, December 07, 2015

It's Not Me, It's You...

Dear Republican Party.

If a candidate who says we need to keep people of any race, creed, gender or sexuality out of our country is taken seriously as a candidate at the national level I really can't identify with that party in any way shape or form anymore.  I realize there have been local folks who have had these ideas for quite some time, but it isn't that hard to find idiots at the local level in virtually any group, be it political party or organization.

That being said, when you are considering a national leader who think that, you have to count me out. I don't care how popular the idea might, how well it may poll or help someone in the polls.  We all have our limits and you have hit mine.

I know I have commented in the past that politics isn't church and it is about winning not about being 'pure'.

But I can't nor do I want to self identify with any group who has a leader who thinks crap like this is good policy or morally right.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Chris Kennedy On Sunday Spin...

Some thoughts and observations about what Chris Kennedy had to say on Sunday Spin...

The audio is here and it starts at the 38-minute mark...

He starts out by making some good points about remedial education....

Then he says basically the Trump voter comes from our high school education process, where kids are undereducated.  Would like to see some sort of Illinois correlation between bad HS education and voting patterns, not sure you are going to see that in this state.

His next point...
Enormous wealth disparity was created in the 80s, where the rich live near the rich and the poor live near the poor.

Mr. Kennedy, that didn't start in the 80s, that started way before the 80s at least here in Illinois, the North Shore has been significantly wealthier than the south suburbs for a  long time.  You sound a bit silly when you say stuff like that.  Property tax disparity is not something that magically came about during the 80s...

General observation, you can hear him breathing on mic, he needs to work on that.

He goes hard on the property tax system and makes a lot of sense.

Did he move here to deal with the Merchandise Mart, he talks about all of these other reasons he came to Illinois, but not that one.  But later references the Mart.

Nice of Kennedy to help the GOP write some ads about Pritzker.  Interesting using the word 'sick' when talking about Pritzker's conversation with Rod.

You can be a billionaire and have customers and may have worked for others, Mr. Kennedy.

I am a person of means but not a mean person...  Not bad...

Rick asks a very interesting question, is the Kennedy magic generationed out, has too much time passed?

Chris, if you are really worried about workman's comp costs, odds are you not looking to put an office in the Merchandise Mart.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Kennedy Gets It Right....

So Kennedy went full on property taxes and politicians who work the property tax system....

I think it is a very, very smart play here is why,

The Democratic front-runner (and the guy running ads now) made the house next door to his uninhabitable by removing the toilets and then got a property tax break.  When third party ads start running, Pritzker is going to get slammed for this and it is going to work.

If Pritzker survives this attack (and I suspect he will) it will still be all set up for Rauner to go.

Because property taxes are something most voters understand and may be the tax they feel the most 'jerked over' about an income tax or a sales tax is easily understandable and stays relatively consistent over time. The rates are fairly consistent, but your property taxes show up on a bill that is different each year with a variety of line items.  It is a confusing bill, perhaps intentionally, perhaps not, but it is confusing.

I think really keying in on that part of the tax system is a smart political idea. The concept that the system is loaded against you the 'average guy' is not that hard of a sale because of the complexity of the property tax system and the idea that the person who has the same house as you two blocks away might be paying a significantly different amount of tax.

The $15 Minimum Wage

So we had an advisory referendum on a $10 an hour 2 years ago, it passed and then the Democrats didn't advance it before Rauner took office....

Now they vote for a $15 an hour minimum wage 2 years later because...

Because they know that Rauner will veto it and if using it the minimum wage to get enough people to the polls didn't work maybe this will.

The entertaining and highly unlikely option is that Rauner signs it, calls their bluff as it were because while it might be popular with unions and some groups, it is likely not to play as well with business interests and it isn't going to play well at all with small businesses, especially those in rural areas.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

When You Sign An Executive Order About Religious Freedom..

If the ACLU decides not to file suit you likely didn't go that far...

Just a thought, people who are fans of limited government should be fans of entities like the ACLU, Institue for Justice or other groups or entities that ask the question "Is this something government is allowed to do". Regardless if you agree or disagree with what they are challenging,  it is important and necessary to ask the question, constantly.