Cook Co. board votes to roll back sales tax
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
by Charles Thomas
July 21, 2009 (CHICAGO) (WLS) --
For the third time, the Cook County Board has voted to cut the 1
percent sales increase that was pushed through by President Todd
Stroger vetoed the earlier rollbacks.
This time there may be enough votes to override a veto.
all 14 commissioners who say they support the repeal hold true to their
word, then after January 1, 2010 Cook County shoppers will pay a half
cent per dollar less for taxable items.
County Board President Todd Stroger, who doesn't want the repeal, heard
his administration get credit on Tuesday for making it possible.
the votes were counted, there were 12 to repeal half of the 1 cent
sales tax increase, three not to repeal with two commissioners absent.
always felt that the half percent was the ultimate compromise, not just
because I introduced it but because it was the best and equitable
solution," said Commissioner Elizabeth Doody-Gorman, (R) Orland Park.
the absent commissioners, Claypool and Peraica, are longtime tax
increase opponents. They presumably would join the 'yes' voters to form
a veto-proof repeal that would become effective on January 1, 2010 -
just in time for the primary elections.
"The tax, as the media
has constantly put it, has been a horrific impact on our residents. And
by taking it down by half a point it should have the opposite effect,"
said Commissioner Joan Murphy, (D) Crestwood.
Todd Stroger, who spearheaded the tax increase effort 17 months ago and
vetoed two earlier attempts to repeal it, was credited by some anti-tax
board members for helping put the county's financial house in relative
"The relief that we're giving here we can give because we're in pretty good shape," Commissioner Larry Suffredin, (D) Evanston.
state's in terrible shape. The city's in terrible shape. They all have
to do something to get themselves to the point in which we are," said
"This is all feel-good. What this is going to do for
the average person's pocket is very little," said Commissioner Jerry
Butler, (D) Chicago.
Only Butler, Moreno and Beavers voted
against the repeal. They fear cuts in the public healthcare system and
a resurgent budget deficit without all the sales tax revenue. But the
anti-taxers say the new plan to deal with deficit is to require
county-wide elected office holders to cut their budgets by 10 percent.
are going to have to come to this board and say to the taxpayers that
they will accept this 10 percent or not," said Commissioner John Daley,
(D) Finance Committee chairman.
If Stroger does attempt to veto, the board cannot vote to override him until the next meeting in September.