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Cook Co. officials endorse 'new revenues' but not sales tax hike

Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Daily Herald
by Rob Olmstead

Several Cook County elected officials gathered Monday to show support for Cook County Board President Todd Stroger's tax increase -- sort of.
Representatives from the Cook County state's attorney's office, the Cook County sheriff's office, the Cook County recorder of deeds office and the Cook County circuit court clerk's office voiced support for "new revenues" but refused to specifically endorse Stroger's call for a 2 percentage point increase in the sales tax.
"We are not in a position to judge … what specifics are necessary," said State's Attorney Dick Devine.
When it was pointed out that Devine, just a few weeks ago, balked at supporting the hike because it takes in more money for 2009 than the county needs, he said that hadn't changed.
"I have a reservation about that and I am opposed to (raising more money than needed)," Devine said.
What he's advocating, he explained, is commissioners coming up with their own plan to raise revenues rather than just shooting down Stroger's idea.
"It is the responsibility of everybody -- not just the president," said Devine.
The other elected officials were similarly lukewarm in their endorsement of new revenues in general, but not Stroger's specific plan.
"It's not for me to second-guess the department of revenue," said Dorothy Brown, clerk of the circuit court, in explaining why she could not specify exactly what kind of tax hike she supports.
Eugene Moore, the recorder of deeds, and a representative of Sheriff Tom Dart similarly expressed support for general revenue increases, but not specifically Stroger's plan.

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