Cook County commissioners
once again failed to override county board President Todd Stroger's
veto of a sales tax rollback Tuesday.
Although nine commissioners, a majority, voted to
override, four-fifths of the board is needed to override the veto. Had
the veto been successful, it would have reduced the county's portion of
the sales tax from 1.75 percent to 1 percent in 2010 and then to .75
percent in 2011.
But it became clear from the discussion that
commissioners, tired of passing rollbacks only to have them vetoed,
will now sit down and try to work out a compromise with Stroger.
"I intend to have a meeting of the finance committee
dealing with all items with the sales tax," said Finance Committee
Chairman John Daley. "Hopefully, we can come up with a compromise that
we can accept."
That means Daley will now allow Stroger's proposal, for
rolling back just one-quarter percentage point, go to the floor for a
Commissioner Larry Suffredin suggested the board and
Stroger compromise and roll back a half-percentage point. Stroger,
after the meeting, said he's willing to consider a half-point sales tax
decrease, but to make it happen, commissioners are going to have to
identify cuts to pay for it, he said.
"I think discussing money in this sense (talking only
about the sales tax in terms of reducing by percentage points) is
really playing to the media," Stroger said. "How about, 'what do we
think we can cut out of the budget?' How about talking about that?"
"It would have to be something pretty significant,"
said Stroger. "They're really going to have to look at (cutting) public
And while some commissioners disputed that assessment,
Stroger was backed in that estimation by Daley, who opposed Stroger on
the rollback and voted to override his veto.
To roll back more than a quarter-percentage point,
"there is going to be a cut at the hospital and a cut at public safety.
- To say there aren't going to be cuts (with a sales tax decrease) is
Democrats voting to override Stroger's veto Tuesday
were Daley, Commissioner Forrest Claypool, Bridget Gainer and
Suffredin. All are from Chicago except Suffredin, of Evanston.
Republicans voting to override were Liz Gorman of Orland Park, Gregg
Goslin of Glenview, Tony Peraica of Riverside, Tim Schneider of
Bartlett, Peter Silvestri of Elmwood Park. Voting to sustain Stroger's
veto were Democrat Joan Murphy of Crestwood and Chicago Democrats
William Beavers, Jerry Butler, Joseph Mario Moreno, Deborah Sims, and
Robert Steele. Chicago Democrat Earlean Collins voted present and
Chicago Democrat Roberto Maldonado was absent.