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Fourth attempt to override Stroger's sales tax rollback veto succeeds

Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Daily Herald
by Ted Cox

The Cook County Board of Commissioners finally succeeded in overriding President Todd Stroger's veto and rolling back the sales tax by half a percentage point today.

Armed with a new, lowered three-fifths requirement to override passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Quinn, the board voted 12-5 to cut in half the penny-on-the-dollar increase in the sales tax imposed last year.

The reduction takes effect July 1.

Stroger threatened the tax reduction would cripple the county's Health & Hospitals System, but commissioners proved more concerned about reduced tax revenue and business lost to collar counties with lower sales taxes. They cut the county's share of the sales tax from 1.75 to 1.25 percent and dropped it overall below 10 percent in the city of Chicago and other municipalities - highest in the nation for major metropolitan areas - thus removing what Evanston Democratic Commissioner Larry Suffredin labeled a psychological obstacle for local consumers.

The fourth attempt to roll back the sales tax turned out to be the one that stuck. Three previous attempts ended when commissioners failed to overturn Stroger's veto, crippled by the four-fifths majority then required to override.



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