Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  The Cook County Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.
   
     
     
     



Smoking, hotel taxes once again are on Cook County agenda

Thursday, December 15, 2005
Daily Southtown

THE ISSUE: As they do every year, county officials are calling for higher taxes to pay for higher spending. Property taxes will remain level, but the Stroger administration wants to double the cigarette tax and create a hotel tax.
WE SAY: Enough is enough. The county board must cut spending rather than looking to the taxpayers to bridge the gap.

The rest of the country is arguing over whether to call this the "Christmas season" or the "holiday season."

In Cook County, we all know it as "the tax increase season."

County board President John Stroger on Monday announced that he's not seeking a property tax increase after all, contrary to his warning of a few weeks ago that a property tax hike would be needed. But it is tax increase season, after all, so Stroger said he wants a cigarette tax increase of $1 a pack, doubling the county share to $2; and he wants a new tax on hotel bills of 2 percent.

As he does every year at this time, Stroger said, "We have cut everywhere possible without impacting services. But if we are to fulfill our mission ... we will need new revenue."

A Stroger spokeswoman said budget planners reduced a deficit initially estimated at $307 million to $95 million by cutting travel and overtime appropriations, and by reducing funding for vacant positions.

But there remains a $95 million gap between anticipated revenues and expected spending, so the Stroger administration is turning to smokers and visitors to pay the difference.

Stroger is likely to face a battle over the proposed tax increase, as he did last year — and rightly so. An alliance between Republicans and independent Democrats last year forced Stroger to cut proposed spending and tax increases, and with an election coming in the spring, a similar battle is expected this year.

Forrest Claypool, a member of the county board since 2002 and a candidate for county board president in the Democratic primary, called the hotel tax "unnecessary" and said the county payroll is "bloated."

Each year since 2002, commissioners have challenged proposed tax increases. Early on, Stroger accused Claypool and other new board members of being uninformed and too green around the gills to understand the budget and the need for more taxes.

But this is the fourth budget for the new crew of board members, and the "inexperience" claim no longer holds water. Stroger and his staff cannot simply expect to raise taxes every year. Taxpayers — even pariahs like smokers — can't be expected to dish out more "revenue" to the county every 12 months. One would think Stroger, who is running for re-election, would be savvy enough to hold off on any kind of tax increase in an election year. But regardless, there comes a time when county officials need to say, "Enough is enough — we're not going to increase spending. We are going to cut expenditures that we can't afford to continue paying."

That time has come.



Recent Headlines

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas on unclaimed property tax exemptions: ” Most seniors didn’t know that they could get it.”
Friday, July 19, 2019
WGN Chicago

Top Forest Preserve cop quits after burying ticket of county pol’s pal who asked ‘Do you know who I am?’
Friday, July 19, 2019
Chicago Tribune

EDITORIAL: ‘Do you know who I am?’ Not yet, but we sure know your type
Friday, July 19, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Commissioner Luis Arroyo says he got a friend’s parking ticket voided
Friday, July 19, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago-Area Cooling Centers Offer Residents Chance to Beat the Heat
Thursday, July 18, 2019
NBC 5 Chicago

Editorial: ‘Do you know who I am?’ Not yet, but the people of Cook County deserve to find out.
Thursday, July 18, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Top Forest Preserve cop quits after burying ticket of county pol’s pal who asked ‘Do you know who I am?
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago’s top cop ‘must stop misleading the public’ about violence, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says in heated letter to Mayor Lori Lightfoot
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Chicago Tribune

‘Do you know who I am?’ Investigators say Cook County commissioner pressed cops to scrap ally’s $250 parking ticket
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

IG: Cook County needs revamp on sexual harassment outside of work following allegations against Preckwinkle ex-chief of staff
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Higher Assessments Hit North Suburban Commercial Property Owners
Thursday, July 11, 2019
Evanston Patch

How did an inmate get a loaded gun into Cook County Jail?
Thursday, July 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Check exemptions, file an appeal: What you can do to fight your Cook County property tax bill
Thursday, July 11, 2019
WGN Chicago

’A lack of mental health services has plagued Chicago for decades’: Holy Cross Hospital expanding to fill that void on the Southwest Side
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Construction Begins on New Cook County Health Center
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Daily Herald

How To Appeal Your Cook County Property Tax Assessment
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
CBS Chicago

County Commission Hopes to Increase 2020 Census Participation
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
WTTW News

Cook County Property Tax Bills: Where Does Your Money Go?
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
CBS Chicago

Seniors Receive Inflated Property Tax Bills By Mistake
Tuesday, July 09, 2019
WBBM Radio

Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts’ property tax appeal under investigation after Tribune finds assessment problem
Tuesday, July 09, 2019
Chicago Tribune

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP