(Topic ID: 295323)

So why is pinball out of Chicago?

By Viggin900

4 months ago


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    There are 120 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 3.
    #51 4 months ago

    This is too political for an “All Pinball” thread. All I can say is that some people are bad at math and logic.

    #52 4 months ago
    Quoted from Trekkie1978:

    They had write-offs that existed back then that don’t exist today.
    1986 tax code cleaned a lot of that up. No one paid that rate back then.

    I just pointed out a famous example of what happens when you "overtax"

    Reagan simply refused to work as the fruits of his labor would be confiscated.

    If there was a dodge I'm sure he would have utilized it.

    #53 4 months ago
    Quoted from Trekkie1978:

    So things like property tax? Sales tax? Government fees? Disability insurance tax? Unemployment insurance tax? Gasoline tax? Tolls? Telephone tax? Capital gains tax? Dividend tax? Gift tax? Vehicle registrations? Various licenses? Cigarette tax? Hotel tax? Don’t exist…
    Think you’re missing quite a bit from your list.

    Most of those things, even property taxes, are a drop in the bucket for someone claiming to be in the top tax rate. Like I said, I'd be interested to see the details around someone paying 65% in taxes in Illinois, but we won't because this is a 2nd hand account of someone saying they "get 65% taken out of their paycheck." Personally, I think if I included property tax, sales tax, tolls, etc. I *might* get to a 40% effective rate, and we pay a lot of taxes.

    #54 4 months ago

    Interesting, I didn't know the parts came locally? Thats great to hear USA is producing plastics etc. I know playfields came from overseas and figured the rest from China. I am using where I live as an example, there are many areas in the US with cheap industrial business and Logistics that would be a lot cheaper to manufacture pinball. Spooky pinball or Deeproot are good examples.

    #55 4 months ago
    Quoted from yancy:

    I just checked, Kentucky is 5%, so your neighbor’s income tax actually went up .05% when he moved. Bummer.

    City not state tax! Duh. Tell me what Chicago is compared to Boone county KY please.

    #56 4 months ago
    Quoted from Viggin900:

    So why are they made in the city with the highest rates? I recently had a neighbor move from Chicago ... So how much cheaper would it be to manufacture pinball outside of Chicago?

    There is a certain nuance to your question that has been lost in all the political discussion. It's been about a quarter-century since pinball machines were actually made in the city (when WMS moved pinball production from 3401 North California Ave. to Gurnee). I think this is why suburbs like Elk Grove Village have so many factories.

    In the 1890-1960 eras, there were thousands of manufacturing companies for electrical and mechanical goods based in Chicago proper. It's not just coin-op amusements that had the ecosystem. Now there are a lot of companies in ChicagoLAND, the metro area, but probably not thousands. That means they are "outside of Chicago" for purposes of your question.

    But as others have pointed out on this thread, it helps to be within driving distance of Chicago if you're building pinball machines.
    .................David Marston

    #57 4 months ago

    Gottlieb had a wiring harness shop up in North Dakota back in the day. I think they were able to make cable assemblies for some other business up there and move a lot of volume so it was worth having them sent down to Chicago.

    #58 4 months ago

    Guys, taxes totally suck, am I right? Can I get an amen?!?!

    ALso, pinball is in chicago because it used to be run by the mob and the mob hates to commute.

    I've heard it alleged that Bally was owned by the mob at one point but I'd love to hear more about that cause the statement was light on details.

    #59 4 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Guys, taxes totally suck, am I right? Can I get an amen?!?!
    ALso, pinball is in chicago because it used to be run by the mob and the mob hates to commute.
    I've heard it alleged that Bally was owned by the mob at one point but I'd love to hear more about that cause the statement was light on details.

    amen

    #60 4 months ago
    Quoted from dmarston:

    There is a certain nuance to your question that has been lost in all the political discussion. It's been about a quarter-century since pinball machines were actually made in the city (when WMS moved pinball production from 3401 North California Ave. to Gurnee). I think this is why suburbs like Elk Grove Village have so many factories.

    It's also very possible that EGV offered some tax incentives to Stern to move there.

    #61 4 months ago
    Quoted from Viggin900:

    City not state tax! Duh. Tell me what Chicago is compared to Boone county KY please.

    Chicago has no income tax and many pay less than $6K for property tax in the city, I speak from experience. If you are talking about sales tax for Chicago it is 10.25% which is a total of state, county and city sales tax rates. All residents of Illinois, including Chicago residents, are subject to State and Federal income taxes, the Illinois income tax is a flat tax.

    I don't know the specifics of anyone's situation, income, residence, etc. but I have lived in Michigan and can say the total cost of living was not night and day.

    #62 4 months ago

    As someone who lives nearby. Know that both JJP and Stern are both located inside one of the largest industrial parks in the world. Elk Grove Village is very aggressive to go after companies that build and manufacture. Giving them incentives to be located in Elk Grove. Yes we have 2 pinball companies but the park is also host to a bunch of distributors, Sega, Namco, Raw Thrills. ETC. its a coin op hub. All the talent, parts and distros are right there.

    obviously many of the parts come from the surrounding area. I live in rockford the Screw capitol of the world an hour away. Someone in town makes the leg bolts and other hardware. Not sure which of the several compaines do it. But when Ive been to the factory the pallets say Rockford IL on em.

    #63 4 months ago

    According to this list, Illinois ranks 9th on total tax burden(9.52%) (state only, not federal taxes), and the difference between the highest (New York @ 12.79%) and the lowest in the lower 48, (Tennessee @ 5.74%) is 7.05% (only 3.78% between Illinois and Tennessee).

    https://wallethub.com/edu/states-with-highest-lowest-tax-burden/20494

    Of course, median income in Illinois ($65,886) is higher than Tennessee ($53,320) indicating generally better earning potential.

    https://worldpopulationreview.com/state-rankings/median-household-income-by-state

    I do agree it is more expensive in the Chicago Metro area than downstate Illinois where I live. I have much more house for less property taxes, pay lower sales and gas taxes, and can generally buy goods and services cheaper living in a rural area. I also have to drive longer to get to work and have less choices and amenities close by, so that is a trade off.

    Running a business is harder and a little more expensive in Illinois, but I don't think for this industry, it is enough of a difference to move. And, if you want to be in a world class city with a midwest work ethic, local talent and parts suppliers, Chicago/Illinois is a good choice.

    #64 4 months ago

    Can this thread just be locked? It's fundamentally people arguing about taxes

    Pinball's home is Chicago because when the industry was starting, Chicago was the manufacturing capital of America. Pinball is still there because the numerous companies that were created to supplement the industry are still in the Chicagoland area. It's that simple.

    It doesn't make sense for someone like Stern to relocate if all their part suppliers don't follow along. Sure they could just ship the parts to Stern if they moved elsewhere, but that's really undervaluing the ability to jump in a car and drive over to a supplier for quality control and spot checks. Plus the shipping would likely offset the savings while increasing logistical challenges.

    Jersey Jack relocated to Chicago for a reason.

    #65 4 months ago
    Quoted from Trekkie1978:

    Where do you think the money comes from to pay the property tax?

    Home/property owners

    #66 4 months ago
    Quoted from jellikit:

    Chicago has no income tax and many pay less than $6K for property tax in the city, I speak from experience. If you are talking about sales tax for Chicago it is 10.25% which is a total of state, county and city sales tax rates. All residents of Illinois, including Chicago residents, are subject to State and Federal income taxes, the Illinois income tax is a flat tax.
    I don't know the specifics of anyone's situation, income, residence, etc. but I have lived in Michigan and can say the total cost of living was not night and day.

    Cook county appears to charge income tax though. 5% per google machine.

    #67 4 months ago
    Quoted from ReadyPO:

    According to this list, Illinois ranks 9th on total tax burden(9.52%) (state only, not federal taxes), and the difference between the highest (New York @ 12.79%) and the lowest in the lower 48, (Tennessee @ 5.74%) is 7.05% (only 3.78% between Illinois and Tennessee).
    https://wallethub.com/edu/states-with-highest-lowest-tax-burden/20494
    Of course, median income in Illinois ($65,886) is higher than Tennessee ($53,320) indicating generally better earning potential.
    https://worldpopulationreview.com/state-rankings/median-household-income-by-state
    I do agree it is more expensive in the Chicago Metro area than downstate Illinois where I live. I have much more house for less property taxes, pay lower sales and gas taxes, and can generally buy goods and services cheaper living in a rural area. I also have to drive longer to get to work and have less choices and amenities close by, so that is a trade off.
    Running a business is harder and a little more expensive in Illinois, but I don't think for this industry, it is enough of a difference to move. And, if you want to be in a world class city with a midwest work ethic, local talent and parts suppliers, Chicago/Illinois is a good choice.

    Love Tennessee!! I hope it last. We are getting flooded with California, New York, Chicago, Nevada folks.

    #68 4 months ago

    Amused by these people that can grok obtuse pinball scoring rulesets but can't get their heads around a marginal tax rate.

    #69 4 months ago

    Back to Op’s question. Stern’s recent move meant they had to consider this very question when they were deciding where to move. They obviously considered factors including synergy, moving costs, state and local taxes, available workforce, shipping ease, availability to supply chain. They would have also addressed external concerns such as international taxes, import/export regs, state incentives, currency options etc.

    At the end of the day they decided to stay in Chicago. I think the explanation by Gary applies, Stern can’t relocate manufacturing away from their vendors and suppliers. Other companies will have different reasons to arrive at the same conclusion, but Stern is 80% of global pinball market and they will stay put in Chicago. Nothing will change that.

    edit - using this logic, can you imagine a new manufacturer deciding to set up shop anywhere but the Chicago vicinity? They don’t know better than everybody else, they just think they do.

    #70 4 months ago
    Quoted from Bud:

    What’s the source of this information?
    Personally I think the rising cost of new pinball is more because they can and people keep paying up

    Wage increases is certainly an aspect of it. Workers only become more expensive. The State of Illinois, Cook County, and the City of Chicago have all been slowly bumping up the minimum wage.

    Gary Stern comes off as the kind of guy who'd say "I'd pay you less if I could, but I literally cannot"

    Pinball machines are super expensive to manufacture, combine that with raising material prices, inflation, and increasing demand....lots of reasons why the prices are going up a few hundred bucks a year.

    #71 4 months ago
    Quoted from floyd1977:

    Most of those things, even property taxes, are a drop in the bucket for someone claiming to be in the top tax rate. Like I said, I'd be interested to see the details around someone paying 65% in taxes in Illinois, but we won't because this is a 2nd hand account of someone saying they "get 65% taken out of their paycheck." Personally, I think if I included property tax, sales tax, tolls, etc. I *might* get to a 40% effective rate, and we pay a lot of taxes.

    My property taxes are not a drop in the bucket and I’m in the highest bracket. I own a company and all the income flows into my tax return. I pay the government more than I pay myself.

    I pay the full 16% (rounded) of FICA taxes, FUTA taxes, both sides of unemployment, disability and family leave, heavy highway tax, gas guzzler tax (for construction vehicles), gasoline and diesel taxes, expensive vehicle registrations, licensing fees, public work fees, apprenticeship plan fees, sales tax. Then don’t forget all the income taxes on top.

    All I ask is to keep 50.01% of what I make…but the government won’t allow it.

    #74 4 months ago
    Quoted from floyd1977:

    Most of those things, even property taxes, are a drop in the bucket for someone claiming to be in the top tax rate. Like I said, I'd be interested to see the details around someone paying 65% in taxes in Illinois, but we won't because this is a 2nd hand account of someone saying they "get 65% taken out of their paycheck." Personally, I think if I included property tax, sales tax, tolls, etc. I *might* get to a 40% effective rate, and we pay a lot of taxes.

    ^^I agree with this 40%.

    #75 4 months ago

    Made in Chicago. Free bullet hole in every box.

    #76 4 months ago

    This post was gonna happen sooner or later.

    #77 4 months ago
    Quoted from FatPanda:

    This post was gonna happen sooner or later.

    Some people can't help themselves.

    #78 4 months ago

    Published property tax rates mean nothing when they can be overridden. One of the reasons it's called Taxachusetts. Anyway, pinball is cheap in comparison, that was my on-topic point.

    #79 4 months ago
    Quoted from TreyBo69:

    Pinball machines are super expensive to manufacture, combine that with raising material prices, inflation, and increasing demand....lots of reasons why the prices are going up a few hundred bucks a year.

    No argument pinball machines are expensive to manufacture. But they don’t become several $100 more each year, especially when most major components are used over and over. Exception would be a new board system and the recent covid issues. Pins had been climbing in price well before the pandemic and rate of inflation.

    Demand also has zero increasing effects on production costs. If anything, it will drive production costs down due to more units being produced.

    #80 4 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Some people can't help themselves.

    Some people think the king is wearing clothing?

    #81 4 months ago

    My 2600 sq.ft home $ 1850 a year in Indiana
    My son’s 2500 sq.ft. home $5200 in Illinois

    #82 4 months ago
    Quoted from Bud:

    No argument pinball machines are expensive to manufacture. But they don’t become several $100 more each year, especially when most major components are used over and over. Exception would be a new board system and the recent covid issues. Pins had been climbing in price well before the pandemic and rate of inflation.
    Demand also has zero increasing effects on production costs. If anything, it will drive production costs down due to more units being produced.

    All those components are increasing in price. Wood for the cabinet, the processor for the node boards, copper in the wiring, random pieces of metal for ball guides, mechs, etc. It's all going up.

    Demand doesn't increase production costs, true. But Stern is selling them faster than they can make them and their private equity overlords demand continued growth every quarter.

    Sooo many reasons to cite for price increases.

    #83 4 months ago

    Since this is essentially a property tax discussion, here’s my hot take: people are willing to pay higher taxes to live near a city center because their home appreciates much faster than one that’s 30-50 miles away. I live in the Atlanta suburbs, about 30 miles out. If I use Zillow’s numbers, my home has appreciated 27% in the 20 years we’ve lived here - not a great investment. I know of someone who almost doubled their money in less than 10 years, by picking a good in-town location.

    If you factor in the shorter commute, better access to good restaurants and entertainment, etc., higher property taxes are in the noise. I.e. the Market has spoken, and in-town homes are more valuable. What’s cool about ‘Merica (and other countries, I assume) is that we can live anywhere we want to.

    #84 4 months ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    . What’s cool about ‘Merica is that we can live anywhere we want to.

    Yeah but what's the point of living somewhere if you can't endlessly tell people how much better it is where you live?

    And then complain about the prospect of them actually coming to live there?

    #85 4 months ago
    Quoted from yancy:

    Nope.
    If he made at least $518k a year he'd pay:
    4.95% IL tax, plus
    37% top federal rate, plus
    6.2% social security, plus
    1.45% medicare, for a total of
    49.6% but effectively less, since only the first $142,800 is taxed for social security, and most of his federal tax would be at marginal rates lower than 37%.
    I bet his story goes up a couple percent every time he tells it.

    quiet you, how are we supposed to whine about taxes and unions if you keep bringing up facts and figures?

    #86 4 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    Sorry jason, but this isn’t even possible. Maybe in Canada, but not here.

    not in Canada, the full tax impact in Canada is very comparable to most places in USA, IIRC. (but what the taxes go towards have slight differences)
    looking at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications/tax-packages-years/general-income-tax-benefit-package/ontario.html

    Above $215k, federal tax is 33%
    Above $220k, Ontario tax is 13.16% (using that since it's our most populous province)
    and that's not counting any of the tax credits, nor the impact of the amounts under $220k being taxed lower.
    46.16% would be the peak tax on salary. Actual amount would be lower.
    But if you're making that kind of coin, you don't really have as many problems to worry about.

    #87 4 months ago

    Wow. That’s awesome. I’m even more for universal healthcare now. Haha

    #88 4 months ago
    Quoted from gdonovan:

    Reagan was asked why he only did 2 movies a year when he was an actor during this timeframe.
    Because the Federal Government would seize all monies earned from the third movie was his reply.

    *facepalm*

    #89 4 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    Wow. That’s awesome. I’m even more for universal healthcare now. Haha

    I was going to say, "well we also pay property tax and sales tax" and stuff like that to temper my post... but reading through this thread, how much is everyone paying, percentage-wise for property tax???
    I think our bill is like 1% of our house's value, annually. And that's a good chunk of change every year! But seeing people saying their property tax is over $10k annually blows my mind, and makes me think you all live in million dollar homes.

    #90 4 months ago
    Quoted from cait001:

    I was going to say, "well we also pay property tax and sales tax" and stuff like that to temper my post... but reading through this thread, how much is everyone paying, percentage-wise for property tax???
    I think our bill is like 1% of our house's value, annually. And that's a good chunk of change every year! But seeing people saying their property tax is over $10k annually blows my mind, and makes me think you all live in million dollar homes.

    Lot of rich folk in pinball, so yeah maybe

    I pay around $3k a year in city and county taxes.

    #91 4 months ago
    Quoted from cait001:

    how much is everyone paying, percentage-wise for property tax???

    Basically in the US, some places charge way more for property, others way more for income.

    If you’re in an area that isn’t popular and they want to entice more people, taxes are a bit less overall. But in general, not crazy crazy differences State to state.

    #92 4 months ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    What’s cool about ‘Merica (and other countries, I assume) is that we can live anywhere we want to.

    Unless you work for a pinball company, then you have to live in or around Chicago. Thanks for getting us back on subject.

    #93 4 months ago
    Quoted from cait001:

    But seeing people saying their property tax is over $10k annually blows my mind, and makes me think you all live in million dollar homes.

    It takes a 2 income family to live decently in E Massachusetts.

    #94 4 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    Cook county appears to charge income tax though. 5% per google machine.

    You don't pay both county and state income tax, just one IL State Income Tax. And maybe where you are seeing it they are showing a bit higher than the state due to income or such, so it has been referenced. I am in Cook County (Chicago) and pay less than 5% so I guess it is all relative, like pinball prices!

    #95 4 months ago
    Quoted from cait001:

    I was going to say, "well we also pay property tax and sales tax" and stuff like that to temper my post... but reading through this thread, how much is everyone paying, percentage-wise for property tax???
    I think our bill is like 1% of our house's value, annually. And that's a good chunk of change every year! But seeing people saying their property tax is over $10k annually blows my mind, and makes me think you all live in million dollar homes.

    What about VAT? Seems to me that last time I was in British Columbia basically everything I bought had 7% sales tax plus 7% VAT. Those taxes also seemed to apply to things that would not have sales tax in the USA. Not to mention prices in general were more expensive on everything before the sales taxes; and lets not talk about gas prices being $2+ a gallon more. Also, people I talked to said the income tax rate was fairly flat with less deductions than the average person in the USA would get. A lot of the people I talked to had two jobs and fortunately the jobs were plentiful. British Columbia is a beautiful place and I would gladly live there despite the taxes, so take no offense - just sayin

    #96 4 months ago

    My property tax is around 1% of my home’s value. When we finished our basement, they didn’t pull permits for the work. Our taxes stayed the same for a few years, then they went up. I asked my friend, whose wife works for the county tax commissioner’s office, how they found out about the basement. He smiled and said, “They drive by and look at how many air conditioners you have.”

    #97 4 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Yeah but what's the point of living somewhere if you can't endlessly tell people how much better it is where you live?
    And then complain about the prospect of them actually coming to live there?

    They just have to change their voting habits if they do move somewhere that is better. There is a reason it is better where they are moving and it usually comes down to the party that runs the state.

    #98 4 months ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    My property tax is around 1% of my home’s value. When we finished our basement, they didn’t pull permits for the work. Our taxes stayed the same for a few years, then they went up. I asked my friend, whose wife works for the county tax commissioner’s office, how they found out about the basement. He smiled and said, “They drive by and look at how many air conditioners you have.”

    Damn, GA has some high taxes for the south. My property taxes are .30% of my homes value and we just had a major increase.

    #99 4 months ago
    Quoted from woody76:

    Damn, GA has some high taxes for the south. My property taxes are .30% of my homes value and we just had a major increase.

    Shhhh. Don't go telling people how good we have it down here!

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