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Evanston residents upset with Stroger's veto of sales tax decrease

Thursday, May 14, 2009
Daily Northwestern
by Brian Rosenthal

Evanston residents expressed disappointment with Cook County Board President Todd Stroger'sMonday veto of a 1 percent sales tax decrease.

The unpopular veto, which maintained Chicago's highest-in-the-nation sales tax at 10 percent, was not expected to be overridden by the commissioners, even though they voted 12-3 last week to roll back the tax.

The proposed 1 percent decrease would have directly counteracted a 1 percent tax hike passed by the commissioners last year. It would lose the county about $300 million in tax revenue, according to Stroger.

Some Evanston residents said they were opposed to Stroger's veto, given the current economy.

"Less is always much better, but now that the economy is all bad, that would be much more helpful," said 33-year-old resident Miguel Campos. "People would spend more because they have much more money to spend."

Evanston Commissioner Larry Suffredin, a Democrat who supported the tax increase last year but voted last week to overturn it, told local news agencies he would "work very hard to override this veto."

Stroger dismissed efforts to override the veto, saying efforts by commissioners were simply trying to "embarrass" him and "play politics with people's lives."

But residents said they've felt the pressure of the unusually high sales tax.

"Whenever I buy something, it's sort of surprising," said 14-year-old Evanston resident Mia Cudecki. "It says it's going to be $9 and it ends up being so much more with tax."

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