Rep. Stephens Urges Governor Pritzker to Provides Tax Relief for Tourism Assistance

Chicago…Today State Representative Brad Stephens (R–Chicago) sent a letter to Governor Pritzker urging him to allow for tax remittance deferral for the hotel industry in order to help hotels stay liquid during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The 20th District encompasses the Village of Rosemont and the Northwest Corner of Chicago, as well as several communities that heavily rely on the tourism industry. The hotel industry is essential to tourism, both here locally and statewide,” said Rep. Stephens. “Unfortunately, the industry is getting decimated by this crisis in a way that threatens our state’s tourism industry for the foreseeable future.”

In the last two weeks the hotel and tourism industry have taken a mammoth economic hit devastating employees and their families. The financial situation will get worse before it gets better.

  • Chicago hotels have lost over 265,000 room nights – totaling $50 million in revenue losses
  • Nationally, in total, four million jobs have been lost or are at risk of elimination.
  • Illinois is estimated to lose 100,000 to 120,000 hotel-supported jobs in the coming days and weeks.
  • In Chicago, as in many markets across the state, hotel occupancy rates are in the single digits, and individual hotels and major operators have already ceased operations.
  • By way of example, on March 17, one major hotel in downtown Chicago had only one guest check in, and another downtown hotel had only seven guests check in. 

“I commend the Governor for his vigilance and leadership as we face this truly devastating pandemic, and I applaud his action allowing retailers to defer remittance of sales tax they collect,” emphasized Stephens. “This is precisely the same type of action the state must take to help our hotels stay sufficiently liquid to remain up and running, and employing their workers, until this national crisis passes.”