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Stroger: Race isn't factor in budget war

Saturday, December 01, 2007
Chicago Tribune
by Tribune staff report

COOK COUNTY - With his 2008 budget no closer to passing, Cook County Board Todd Stroger said Friday that the opposition to his $3.2 billion spending plan is steeped in politics, not race.

"I think it's more of a regional thing," he told reporters. "I think there is a group of what we'll call independent Democrats who, for our board, come from the north section [of the county]. And they think one of their group -- one of the independents -- should be the president." His comments came after his chief ally on the board, Commissioner William Beavers, said this week that white opponents were blocking Stroger's budget because he's black.

At a stalemate over Stroger's proposed sales, gasoline and parking tax increases, commissioners met all day Friday and trimmed only $108,000 from the $238 million deficit.
Finance Committee Chairman John Daley said he would call a public hearing, on a slew of other taxes some commissioners say also have little chance of passing. Those include taxes on utilities, telecommunications, jet fuel, hotel stays and on-premise alcohol sales.



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