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Politicians protest tax-hike proposals

Monday, October 29, 2007
Crain's Chicago Business
by Lorene Yue

(Crain’s) — A group of Illinois congressmen and Cook County commissioners poured bottled water into the Chicago River on Monday in protest of recent tax hikes proposed by Mayor Richard M. Daley and Cook County Board President Todd Stroger.

“We deserve a Chicago-style tea party,” said Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Chicago, as he stood near the Michigan Avenue bridge. “Taxation without representation is tyranny.”
He was joined by Cook County Commissioners Forrest Claypool and Larry Suffredin and by Kenny Johnson Jr., who is running for state representative in the 26th District. Supporters held signs with messages such as “Cut the corruption” and “Stop Daley & Stroger tax dynasties.”

At issue are Mr. Daley and Mr. Stroger’s proposals for balancing each of their respective 2008 budgets. Their suggestions, which include a bevy of increased taxes and fees for Cook County and Chicago residents, have drawn sharp criticism from even their own supporters.
Mr. Daley has proposed $260 million in tax and fee hikes, including a 10-cent levy on bottled water, while Mr. Stroger has proposed more than tripling Cook County’s sales tax rate to 2.75%.
Monday’s protest lashed out at the mayor and Mr. Stroger for asking taxpayers to shoulder the burden of a budget that opponents said was fraught with corruption and overspending.
“Why are we swelling local government without trimming fat in local government?” Mr. Jackson said, referring to Mr. Daley’s budget, which calls for a 5.8% increase in total spending, including pension payments and federal grants.

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