A new series by the Harris Poll and Crain’s finds out where Chicago biz leaders stand on the graduated income tax, bringing workers back to the office and more.
That’s precisely the portrait that emerges in the first of a new series of surveys that the Harris Poll is fielding in conjunction with Crain’s. We surveyed 200 Chicago-area executives—owners, C-suite executives, vice presidents and directors—and asked them about their companies and the city in which they operate. The quarterly Harris Poll Chicago Executive Pulse will measure the business environment over time while also drilling in on specific issues of the moment.
No surprise, area business leaders take a judicious, balanced approach to issues. So 55 percent support Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposal for a progressive income tax, which would hike rates on those making over $250,000. At the same time, they overwhelmingly favor the Illinois General Assembly overhauling pension laws (91 percent) and enacting tort reform (87 percent).
Aside from COVID, what impediments stand in the way? More than a quarter of business leaders (26 percent) identified taxes as the biggest issue, followed by economic problems (20 percent) and crime (19 percent).
But they also see a city with great bones. Large majorities (78 percent) rate the Chicago area highly for access to airports and availability of public transportation, access to talent (70 percent), and strong infrastructure and utilities (69 percent). Those fundamentals should help Chicago weather the current period and re-emerge as an economic power when the pandemic passes.
This poll data provides both a snapshot of this moment in time and also a good basis for future comparison. We’ll field the next Executive Pulse after the November elections, when we’ll have a sharper sense of the pandemic’s trajectory and the country’s.