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Was New County Health Board Worth the Sales Tax Increase?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Chicago Public Radio
by Tony Arnold

On the heels of Cook County Board President Todd Stroger's budget address, some county commissioners are asking about revenues from the county's increased sales tax.

Earlier this year, Commissioner Larry Suffredin cast the deciding vote to raise Cook County's sales tax. He says he did that to put the long-troubled, and expensive county health system in the hands of an independent board. Suffredin says, looking back, it was well worth it.

SUFFREDIN: If you look at the only reform happening in Cook County under Todd Stroger's watch, it's coming out of the independent health board.

But Suffredin says the sales tax he voted for isn't doing what he'd hoped. It was expected to raise more than $400 million, but it's brought in much less. And, he says, Stroger's budget projects even less for next year. Stroger denies that, saying it's true the sales tax isn't bringing in as much as originally expected, but he's been transparent about the process.


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