One major highlight of Wednesday’s 100th anniversary celebration of the opening of Wrigley Field was dampened after a massive tax bill was issued on the 400-pound birthday cake replicating the historic ballpark.
With six people employed to carry the Cubs confectionary, the cake is the creation of New Jersey’s Carlo’s Bakery, which is the setting of The Learning Channel’s (TLC) program “Cake Boss.”
However, the celebration was dampened when Cook County Tax Assessor Joe Berrios and officials from the city of Chicago slapped the Cubs with a “value-added” tax placed on the cake. The total tax bill reportedly was more than $500,000.
Berrios, who entered the ballpark around noon in time to collect the replica Chicago Federals commemorative jersey, which the team gave away as part of the celebration, was the guest of Cubs owner Tom Ricketts.
Berrios surprised Ricketts with the tax bill in the third inning.
“Little did I know that Joe would serve me with a huge tax bill for the cake,” Ricketts said. “I was flabbergasted because not five minutes before, I bought him his fourth beer and a cotton candy.”
Berrios said the reason for the tax was clear.
“The team was warned about making any improvement to the ballpark that was not authorized by the city or country,” Berrios said. “That cake is the best that Wrigley Field has looked in 100 years and we were determined to get a piece of it, so to speak.”