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Welcome to the tax merry-go-round
Even as property tax relief passes, along comes talk of a $4 per phone line fee. What's going on?

Saturday, October 13, 2007
Chicago Tribune

Excuse Cook County taxpayers for experiencing vertigo from the push-and-pull the cash-strapped government is inflicting upon them.

The spinning slowed a bit Friday, when state lawmakers extended a key property tax break.

But they are expected to come back soon to decide whether to raise the sales tax by a quarter-point to make sure CTA buses and trains keep running. Assuming you have enough left to pay the fares after property tax bills hit your mailbox by Halloween.
The county has its hand on the tax merry-go-round lever, too: Commissioners are considering a $4 monthly tax on your telephone line.

Think your kids might escape because you carry only a cell phone? Sorry, the tax would apply to your RAZRs and high-speed Internet access. This, after a sales tax increase of 2 percentage points stalled.

Mayor Richard Daley is yanking on homeowners' wallets for a record property tax increase (for him). If you own a $250,000 condo, you would pay an extra hundred dollars a year. And if the City Council turns thumbs-down, it might double the gas tax to a nickel a gallon. As if gas prices around here weren't already the nation's highest last summer.

But wait, there's more. Water and sewer fees could go up by $45 next year, bottled water by 10 cents. And don't forget the increases on beer, wine and parking fines.

Why all the hands on your wallets at once? Politicians, safely re-elected after much braggadocio about their fiscal acumen, have discovered the proverbial cupboards barer than they had thought.

Hang on, taxpayers. The ride is going to be bumpy.



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