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.

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



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

County maps reveal suburban spread of coronavirus infections. Some of the highest numbers are in the northern suburbs.
Wednesday, April 01, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Census Day continues despite COVID-19 concerns: ‘Stakes are too high’
Wednesday, April 01, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Auction of delinquent Cook County property taxes postponed indefinitely
Wednesday, April 01, 2020
Chicago Defender

Daywatch: Virus crisis looms for Cook County’s incarcerated, the brave new world of pandemic shopping and what Mayor Lori Lightfoot thinks of your memes
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Another nurse claims retaliation after voicing concerns about PPE access (LIVE UPDATES)
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says coronavirus likely to have ‘profound impact’ on county’s hospital system
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Chicago Tribune

$7.5M in payouts to go to former Cook County Jail detainees denied prescription drugs
Monday, March 30, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Postponement of most criminal, civil cases in Cook County Circuit Court extended through May
Monday, March 30, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County medical examiner confirms 8 more coronavirus deaths, bringing total to 48
Monday, March 30, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Niles Township COVID-19 UPDATES
Monday, March 30, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

Rent coming due for many who’ve lost jobs or seen their hours cut
Sunday, March 29, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Community health centers face shutdowns as the coronavirus drives patients, funding away
Sunday, March 29, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Coronavirus prompts crackdown on crowds in Cook County forest preserves, and more closures possible if public doesn’t comply
Sunday, March 29, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Illinois confirms more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases as testing capacity grows
Sunday, March 29, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County medical examiner confirms 8 more coronavirus deaths, bringing total to 40
Sunday, March 29, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Weekly updates from the Village of Glenview
Sunday, March 29, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

Design Evanston Project Review of the 1900 Sherman Avenue Project
Saturday, March 28, 2020
Evanston RoundTable

Inside the city's dry run for a pandemic
Friday, March 27, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

As coronavirus spreads at Cook County Jail, hundreds are released
Friday, March 27, 2020
Injustice Watch

Letter from the CEO of Cook County Health System
Friday, March 27, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

all news items

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