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Forest district tax pitch has a familiar ring

Thursday, October 26, 2006
Daily Herald
by Rob Olmstead

Using the same image to sell a tax increase as her predecessor John Stroger did, Cook County Board President Bobbie Steele announced Wednesday a 5 percent increase in homeowner taxes for the Cook County Forest Preserve.
That should come to about $1.98 more on the current $40 bill for a $200,000 house, preserves spokesman Steve Mayberry said.
“That’s well below the cost of a small cup of Starbucks coffee, yet will allow us to confidently approach next year’s union negotiations knowing that we have allocated funds to cover all related costs,” said Steele’s prepared budget address.
The remark closely resembles the sales pitch Stroger used to sell his tax hike for the 2005 budget.
“We must ask ourselves, ‘Is it worth paying an additional amount in taxes that is less than what some pay for a large cup of gourmet coffee to preserve our lands?’ I think so,” Stroger said in December 2004.
For the additional $1.98, taxpayers will be getting six new police officers to patrol trails, $1 million in land acquisition funds, $1 million to put away in case of an emerald ash borer attack, and the creation of a new human resources department, Mayberry said.


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