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Effort to Revoke Spike Lee’s ‘Chi-Raq’ State Tax Break Falls Flat On Its Face

Effort to Revoke Spike Lee’s ‘Chi-Raq’ State Tax Break Falls Flat On Its Face

Well it’s
done and over with. Spike Lee’s controversial film “Chi-Raq” wrapped shooting two weeks ago, and is now in post-production with a December release planned.

Despite that,
Chicago alderman Will Burns is still upset about the film’s suggested negative connotations and what effects they will have on the city, and he’s publicly emphasized his
plans to push through the Chicago City Council, a resolution urging the state of
Illinois to reject Lee’s application for $3 million in tax breaks for filming
in the city.

Burns said
the movie’s title “could harm attempts to promote economic development on the
South Side”. But keep in mind that one of the major motivations for Burns doing
this is that he represents the 4th Ward on South Side of
Chicago, which includes the Kenwood neighborhood where the Obamas have
their Chicago home, as well as Hyde Park, a well established middle class neighborhood
on the South Side where the University of Chicago is located, which, during
the past two years, has seen a huge increase in development with new condos,
hotels and high end restaurants.

No doubt his
biggest fear is that communities he represents would be confused with some of
the more poorer and rougher parts of the South Side Chicago, such as Englewood, Woodlawn
and Roseland.

But yesterday,
before the issue could even be brought up at the City Council Finance Committee,
Burns, in effect, chickened out and did not bring his resolution for a vote.

He was later
quoted as saying that his “only goal was to give residents a chance to speak
out”. Or in other words, “it had no chance of passing and I was making a fool of

Though there
were a few who supported the resolution, it never had any real legs and was
considered a subtle attempt at censorship, and a dumb move at the least.

state Sen. Jacqueline Collins, who was against the resolution, said later, “The city has no power to grant or to withhold a tax credit, an
Illinois state tax credit.” 

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