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Necessary tax increase

Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Chicago Tribune

The July 16 editorial "Your sales tax calendar" in the Chicago Tribune encourages taxpaying constituents to believe that Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin hurt them by voting for a sales tax increase, and that he did so under pressure from union groups.

This is an inaccurate characterization of why Suffredin cast his vote.

His was a principled act:

It prevented a county government shutdown that would have had a catastrophic impact on public safety, social services and our courts.

The vote helped secure majority support for a new independent governance board to oversee the Cook County Bureau of Health Services.

The board is now in place and moving ahead on reforms that will restore lost health services and improve quality.

With larger numbers of county residents losing health coverage, Suffredin's leadership on the county health reforms benefits us all, regardless of one's status as a taxpayer.

Suffredin's particular courage, if not politically popular, should be appreciated by taxpayers when we see too many elected officials posturing instead of seeking real solutions.

—Mary F. Morten

Interim executive director
Chicago Foundation for Women



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