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:  
   
 
 

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

   
 

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

   
  Eighteen of the 20 largest banks in the world and more than 50 foreign banks have offices in Cook County.
   
     
     
     



No to taxes, yes to fees
It’s more than semantics for Cook County Board

Saturday, February 10, 2007
Daily Herald
by Rob Olmstead

They’re not taxes. They’re fees.
Got that?
The Cook County Board’s finance committee voted to institute or raise a number of fees Friday, calling them that even though some spirited debate left hazy just what the difference is between a fee and a tax.
The debate started after Chicago Commissioner Roberto Maldonado, a Democrat, amended the wording of three of his income-raising measures, changing the word “tax” to “fee” to try to make them more palatable.
“Am I right that the case law and the Constitution says ‘fee’ cannot be a revenue-generating endeavor but can be a reimbursement to us for a function that we provide?” asked Commisioner Larry Suffredin.
“I would agree with your definition,” said Patrick Driscoll, the chief of the Cook County state’s attorney’s civil division.
By that definition, all of Maldonado’s measures appeared to fail the “fee” test, just as they eventually failed to pass. His proposed fee on SUV sales failed, while a proposed fee on bullet sales didn’t even get a second to be voted on. A motion to charge a fee on sulfur dioxide emissions was deferred to Feb. 20.
But other fees, such as doubling the cost of activities regulated by the county’s environmental control department, including refuse burning and the storing of volatile chemicals, appeared to pass muster with the fee definition. So, too, did a new fee of $500 for the impounding of vehicles used in prostitution and drug sales.
Suffredin said the $500 would reimburse the county for time spent by deputies taken off the street to process impoundment paperwork as well as court costs.
The panel also agreed to a new $1 entrance fee at off-track betting parlors. That was approved before the fee vs. tax debate erupted, so a “fee” it is.
The fee/tax rhetoric may be due in part to Cook County Board President Todd Stroger saying earlier this week that he’s open to fee hikes, but not tax increases.
He voiced support for some of Maldonado’s revenue increases, even though he vowed not to raise taxes during his fall campaign. When told Maldonado had phrased his measures as tax increases, Stroger offered his own definition.
“That doesn’t make it a tax just because he said it,” said Stroger, laughing.
The fee increases still must be officially approved by the county board but are expected to pass, since the finance committee consists of the entire board.


Recent Headlines

Chicago health system to add 240+ jobs
Monday, October 15, 2018
Becker's Hospital Review

Village of Northbrook Opts Back In to the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance
Monday, October 15, 2018
National Law Review

Fired doctor sues county, loses whistleblower claim
Friday, October 12, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County health system to add jobs
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

No layoffs or tax hike in mayoral hopeful Preckwinkle’s proposed county budget
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

'Inclusionary' housing ordinance rewrite advances
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Evanston Now

Faced with tight budgets, more Illinois counties merge clerk, recorder offices
Monday, October 08, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Class action: Hundreds of Cook Sheriff officer suspensions invalid, because State's Attorney not involved
Friday, October 05, 2018
Cook County Record

One Cook County judge bucks chief judge’s order against unaffordably high bail
Monday, October 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Game of thrones? Watchdog sees ‘scheme to defraud’ in Pritzker toilet tax break
Monday, October 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

County Board approves $31M election equipment contract despite lawsuit; $11M to settle 2 malpractice lawsuits
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Chicago Tribune

County approves new election equipment contract, despite rival firm’s lawsuit
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Top prosecutor Kim Foxx apologizes as 18 convictions linked to corrupt cop vacated
Monday, September 24, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preteens out of detention before trial under new ordinance
Friday, September 14, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Board bars detention of youth under 13 years old
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Injustice Watch

Preteens accused of crimes won't be locked up at Cook County juvenile center
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Slowik: Cook County offers residents last chance to comment on strategic plan
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Daily Southtown

Settlement over Cook County's 2007 decision to cut inmates' dental care will cost nearly $5.3 million
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Anti-patronage Shakman pact requiring federal oversight of Cook County hiring, firing to end
Friday, August 31, 2018
Chicago Tribune

1st District upholds merit board in firing of deputy
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

all news items

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