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Cook County Board to consider sales tax increase

Monday, October 01, 2007
Chicago Tribune
by Mickey Ciokajlo

The Cook County Board will meet today to consider a 2-percentage-point increase in the sales tax.

If approved, the combined rate for the sales tax in the city of Chicago would jump to 11 percent, among the highest in the nation. But the 17-member board is sharply divided over the issue, and passage is anything but certain.

The proceedings are scheduled to start at 9 a.m. with a public hearing before the Finance Committee. Following the hearing, the committee , which includes all 17 members, is expected to vote.
Board President Todd Stroger has called a special meeting of the County Board to convene immediately after the Finance Committee to take up the tax increase if it passes.

The tax hike, proposed by Commissioner Joan Murphy (D-Crestwood), would raise the county portion of the sales tax from 0.75 percent to 2.75 percent. That would generate an extra $750 million a year.

Stroger is looking to close a projected deficit of $307 million for the 2008 budget year, which begins Dec. 1.

Opponents of the tax plan have criticized Stroger for advocating a tax increase even before releasing his proposed budget, which he has said he will do this month.



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