Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

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 Hospital fills more outpatient prescriptions every day than are filled at 26 Walgreen's drug store combined.
   
     
     
     



Stroger to raise cigarette tax in 2006 budget
Michael Quigley drops out of race, endorses Claypool

Monday, December 19, 2005
Crain's Chicago Business
by Greg Hinz

Pulling a political surprise, Cook County Board President John Stroger Monday unveiled a proposed 2006 budget that relies only on one tax hike—a $1-a-pack increase on cigarettes—to close what he said was a $75 million hole in the $2.9 billion spending plan.

Mr. Stroger earlier had hinted at an increase in the real-estate tax, as well as other levies to fill what was described as a $300 million shortfall. That likely would have spurred a revival of bitter budget fights that broke out each of the past two years.

But facing a potentially strong re-election challenge in 2006, Mr. Stroger Monday said his financial team had been able to find nearly $100 million in personnel cuts, holding the overall spending increase in the new budget to just 1%. At the same time, he emphasized, crucial county services will continue undiminished, particularly at the county hospital.

“Our patients come first,” declared Mr. Stroger. With the cigarette-tax hike, “Our health system stays operational despite the federal government’s irresponsible cuts at this critical time.”

Business and civic leaders expressed relief that the wallet damage will be limited to cigarettes, even as Mr. Stroger’s political rivals urged him to cut even more.

“It’s certainly a much better budget that he’s proposed in the past couple of years,” said Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, a watchdog group which had feared Mr. Stroger again would attempt to raise the hotel/motel, sales or other taxes. “We’re pleased.”

County Commissioner Forrest Claypool, who is running against Mr. Stroger in the March Democratic primary, said the $100 million in personnel cuts outlined as part of the budget are too small compared to overall budget growth in the incumbent’s decade in office. “The only way to truly change this government is to have a change at the top,” said Mr. Claypool.

Similar comments came from a GOP candidate for board chief, Commissioner Tony Peraica.

Another Democrat contender, Michael Quigley, said at a late-day news conference that he was withdrawing from the race and will endorse Mr. Claypool.

Mr. Stroger and aides mostly blamed the county’s budget woes on two factors: inflation, and a reduction in federal Medicaid spending available to support the county hospital. While Gov. Rod Blagojevich has agreed to make up $20 million of the loss in federal funds with state money, the county was unable to balance the budget and maintain services without the cigarette tax, which will bring in a projected $75 million a year, officials said.

The county also will benefit from a modest growth in sales and other home-rule taxes, totaling about $30 million over two years. But even with those increases the county had to draw down its unreserved funds balance from $120 million to a projected $66 million as of Dec. 31, county officials said. That’s less than the 5% of spending, or $100 million that local governments usually attempt to keep in the bank to assure stable operations.

Mr. Stroger said he hopes to rebuild reserves to the $100 million level, but set no timetable.

 



Recent Headlines

Pappas: There's help for senior citizens struggling to pay Cook County property taxes
Friday, December 14, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Public Guardian sues DCFS: “Abject moral and human rights failure”
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Capitol Fax

Borrow $10B to help stabilize city pensions along with legal pot, casino and benefit cuts: Rahm
Thursday, December 13, 2018
The Daily Line

CTA Moves Forward with Major Red Line Projects:
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County repeals lower parking-app tax rate
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

How local suburbs voted in Cook County minimum wage/paid sick leave advisory referenda
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
The Bugel

Cook County restores tax on parking apps before January cut took effect
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

County Board to take on taxes,toilets at Wednesday meeting
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

PRECKWINKLE’s tax tweak — Details on BURKE raids — State REPUBLICANS look for hope — SUMMERS’ tirade
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Illinois Politico

Woman, 19, arrested after escaping police custody at Cook County courthouse
Sunday, December 09, 2018
WLS ABC Chicago 7

Here's an exciting prospect: A boring assessor's office
Saturday, December 08, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Sheriff starts unique inmate program to combat Chicago's gun epidemic
Thursday, December 06, 2018
RTV 6 Indianapolis

Staff feud at tax appeals board turns nasty
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Tax Bills Posted Online Three Months Early
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
CBS Chicago

County Board makes it easier to choose Preckwinkle successor
Tuesday, December 04, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

New Cook County assessor vows end to favoritism as he takes office
Monday, December 03, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

New Cook County Board members sworn in Monday
Monday, December 03, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County referendums: 'Yes' to everything
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Chicago City Wire

Glenview to discuss Cook County minimum wage, paid sick leave ordinances in December
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wilmette reverses course, fully adopts both county minimum wage and sick time rules
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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