Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Last year more people used the County's forest preserves than visited Yellowstone National Park.
   
     
     
     



How to avoid Stroger's taxes

Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Chicago Tribune
Editorial

Digg Del.icio.us Facebook Fark Google Newsvine Reddit Yahoo Print Single page view Reprints Post Comment Text size: You have to marvel at the hubris of Todd Stroger's handlers: They want to raise tax rates so high now that the rookie Cook County Board president won't have to ask for more new revenue until well after he runs for re-election in 2010. Trouble is, there's no need for one penny of Stroger's proposed hikes -- including a 2-percentage-point sales tax increase that would hit the poor the hardest. A year ago, Stroger took a "solemn oath" to streamline county government. Yet he squandered countless reform opportunities in 2007, so you're supposed to pay for his neglect in 2008 and beyond. He wants close to $900 million a year in new tax revenue. *** Stroger has seven reliable votes for his taxing spree. He desperately needs swing board members Earlean Collins (312-603-4566 and 773-626-2184) and Roberto Maldonado (312-603-6386 and 773-395-0143) to align this week with him. Stroger's budgeteers say Cook County faces a shortfall of $238 million in 2008. The county has a history of inflating "shortfalls" to justify tax hikes. But let's take them at their word. Let's say they need $238 million to balance the budget. So how can we save that money, instead of forcing county residents to pay up? This page has asked board opponents of Stroger's taxes to offer alternatives, and some of them have responded. The most detailed plan comes from Commissioner Michael Quigley and his chief of staff Kimberly Walz, who for seven years have produced solid reports on how to reinvent county government. Quigley says some of his trims for 2008 can't remain cut in future years. But the goal here is to get through 2008 without tax hikes -- and then use the year to do the streamlining Stroger promised but notoriously failed to deliver. The beauty of this is that it would lead to a slimmer, more responsive bureaucracy by 2009 -- eliminating any need for new taxes then. Quigley's proposals for '08: - Cut 35 percent of Stroger's requested capital equipment spending (new office furnishings and equipment, vehicles, telecom purchases, computers, etc.): $26.9 million. - Cut 30 percent of overtime: $11.6 million. - Cut 30 percent of expenses for consultants: $18.6 million. - Sell surplus land held by Oak Forest Hospital and the Highway Department: an estimated $40 million. - Increase from 2 percent to 5 percent the "holdback" that county departments are budgeted but don't receive -- a form of enforced saving. This would be offset by more cross-training of workers who could shift from office to office during peak periods of tax collection, tax appeals, real estate transfers, elections and so on: $65 million. So far, that's $162 million saved. Board member Larry Suffredin would more than erase the remainder by: - Giving Stroger only half of the 1,130 new hires he wants -- basically, those needed to comply with court orders. Savings: $30 million. - Restructuring the county's debt. Suffredin's research with outside financial specialists suggests annual savings of perhaps $60 million. So: Between them, Quigley and Suffredin offer about $250 million in savings to more than cover Stroger's avowed $238 million shortfall. If one of their ideas isn't workable, so be it. The point is, there's lots of low-hanging fruit. *** All through 2007, Stroger's allies didn't hold him to his "solemn oath." Many of them figured budgeting for 2008 would be like the good old days: They'd harrumph and whine about how impossible it is to cut Stroger's $3 billion-plus budget -- and in the end they'd get their way. Maybe they will. But county government has been inexorably approaching this bitter showdown for several years. A steadily more emboldened County Board has forced some budget cuts, and deflected some tax increases. Now, commissioners Earlean Collins and Roberto Maldonado will decide whether taxpayers get an efficient government that provides better service. The way to achieve that is to stop the tax hikes now -- and use 2008 to reinvent Cook County.


Recent Headlines

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas on unclaimed property tax exemptions: ” Most seniors didn’t know that they could get it.”
Friday, July 19, 2019
WGN Chicago

Top Forest Preserve cop quits after burying ticket of county pol’s pal who asked ‘Do you know who I am?’
Friday, July 19, 2019
Chicago Tribune

EDITORIAL: ‘Do you know who I am?’ Not yet, but we sure know your type
Friday, July 19, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Commissioner Luis Arroyo says he got a friend’s parking ticket voided
Friday, July 19, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago-Area Cooling Centers Offer Residents Chance to Beat the Heat
Thursday, July 18, 2019
NBC 5 Chicago

Editorial: ‘Do you know who I am?’ Not yet, but the people of Cook County deserve to find out.
Thursday, July 18, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Top Forest Preserve cop quits after burying ticket of county pol’s pal who asked ‘Do you know who I am?
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago’s top cop ‘must stop misleading the public’ about violence, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says in heated letter to Mayor Lori Lightfoot
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Chicago Tribune

‘Do you know who I am?’ Investigators say Cook County commissioner pressed cops to scrap ally’s $250 parking ticket
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

IG: Cook County needs revamp on sexual harassment outside of work following allegations against Preckwinkle ex-chief of staff
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Higher Assessments Hit North Suburban Commercial Property Owners
Thursday, July 11, 2019
Evanston Patch

How did an inmate get a loaded gun into Cook County Jail?
Thursday, July 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Check exemptions, file an appeal: What you can do to fight your Cook County property tax bill
Thursday, July 11, 2019
WGN Chicago

’A lack of mental health services has plagued Chicago for decades’: Holy Cross Hospital expanding to fill that void on the Southwest Side
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Construction Begins on New Cook County Health Center
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Daily Herald

How To Appeal Your Cook County Property Tax Assessment
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
CBS Chicago

County Commission Hopes to Increase 2020 Census Participation
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
WTTW News

Cook County Property Tax Bills: Where Does Your Money Go?
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
CBS Chicago

Seniors Receive Inflated Property Tax Bills By Mistake
Tuesday, July 09, 2019
WBBM Radio

Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts’ property tax appeal under investigation after Tribune finds assessment problem
Tuesday, July 09, 2019
Chicago Tribune

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP