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Stroger keeps word, vetoes tax-cut bill

Friday, July 24, 2009
Crain's Chicago Business
by Greg Hinz

  Cook County Board President Todd Stroger on Friday vetoed a bill that would have repealed half of the penny-on-a-dollar sales-tax hike he pushed through last year.

   With revenues down because of the recession and demand for services up, "A budget cut of this magnitude (is) colossally irresponsible," Mr. Stroger said in a statement, echoing his arguments earlier in the week when he signaled that a veto was coming.

   Before any cut, "The county must perform its due diligence and ascertain the ramifications of a reduction in the sales tax as well as the effect it will have on county government," Mr. Stroger added.

   He did say that he's asked his budget director to provide three different spending plan options when the board considers the 2010 budget later this week, based on level funding, a 12% cut and a 19% cut.

   At the moment, 14 commissioners — enough to override the veto —are on record as favoring the half-penny cut.  But the board will not meet again until early September, and Mr. Stroger needs to peel off only one vote to sustain his veto.


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