Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



Cook County shaves its sales tax
0.5% rollback a start, some say

Thursday, July 01, 2010
Chicago Tribune
by Duaa Eldeib

In an economy that's still struggling, clothing store manager Bob Geish is optimistic that even a small rollback of Cook County's sales tax will be good for business.

The county's sales tax drops a half a percentage point Thursday to 1.25 percent. Geish, manager of Red 21 in Burr Ridge, is hopeful that it will keep customers coming to his store instead of traveling to another county or state with lower taxes.

"I think it will have a positive impact. I really do," said Geish. "I think everyone, regardless of their economic status, is concerned with money right now."

Geish's shop is tucked away in the Burr Ridge Village Center, an upscale lifestyle shopping complex that competes not only with shops in Burr Ridge that fall in DuPage County but also with Oakbrook Center mall 15 minutes away.

"We heard it from our customers and our surveys, the sales tax issue was affecting their decision of where they want to shop," said Scott Rolston, general manager of Burr Ridge Village Center.

"Every little bit helps," he said. "I wish they would roll it back even further, but this is good news. It's a step in the right direction."

As a result of the reduction in Cook County's portion of the sales tax, the overall sales tax rate in Chicago will drop from 10.25 percent to 9.75 percent, reducing the cost of a $1,000 purchase by $5.

The overall tax rate in at Oakbrook Center in DuPage, by contrast, is 7.75 percent. In Burr Ridge, the sales tax dropped to 8.75 percent from 9.25 percent as a result of the Cook County rollback.

Opinions from shoppers on the slight rate drop were mixed, with geography playing a large part in the equation.

Jan Roberts of Chicago, who began shopping online after the Cook County Board passed the penny-on-the-dollar tax in 2008, doesn't think the rollback will affect how she shops. She found she liked hunting for online deals that often included free shipping.

"It doesn't seem like a dramatic amount to reduce it by," she said. "I don't think it will change my spending habits."

The tax dip won't change where David Seeber spends his money either — largely because the Columbia College senior can't go very far.

"I live in the city, I'm 21, and I ride a unicycle," Seeber said. "I can't get to another county to do my shopping if I wanted to."

Shopping for tax breaks is easier for those near the county's borders. Janet Meyer said she has seen the disparity the sales tax has created in her communities. Meyer is the president of the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce, which serves businesses in Cook, Lake, McHenry and Kane counties.

The county sales tax hike has been hard on Cook County businesses, but they've persevered, she said.

"This little bit of change is a welcome relief for the stores that have survived and reinvented themselves over the past year and a half," said Meyer, who expects to see business pick up for chamber members in Cook County when families begin their back-to-school shopping.

Even with the reduction, Chicago maintains the distinction as having, with Los Angeles, the highest sales tax rate in the country, according the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.

"We lobbied against the increase and we've been lobbying for the other half percent to be rolled back in order to get ourselves competitive with other states, and more importantly, other counties," said Jerry Roper, president of the Chicagoland Chamber.

Cook County Board President Todd Stroger had championed the 1 percentage-point sales tax increase, and vetoed several attempts by commissioners to reduce it. His insistence on the higher tax, which he said was necessary for reasons that included continued health care for the poor in Cook County, contributed to his overwhelming defeat by Chicago Ald. Toni Preckwinkle in February's primary for the Democratic nomination for board president.

The tax hike led many people to look for ways to save money, including Eric Medina of Chicago. After the tax increase passed, Medina and his wife began combining shopping trips with visits to family in Aurora.

Medina couldn't say for sure if the decrease will have him shopping closer to home. Frank Elton, who works in south suburban Steger, said the rollback wasn't anywhere near big enough.

"With the economy the way it is now, I don't think it's going to do much of anything," said Elton, whose wife owns a restaurant on the Cook County side of the village, which straddles Will County. "Roll it back three pennies. That'll make a difference."

Mike Pietrusinski agrees. If he's buying electronics or clothes, the resident of Chicago's South Deering neighborhood said he prefers to make the 5-mile ride to Hammond. The sales tax in Chicago is too much for him.

"Lower it to 7 or 8 percent," he said. "That's going to bring people back."

State Rep. Mark Walker, D-Arlington Heights, wants to eliminate the remaining half percentage point of the original county tax hike, bringing it back to .75 percent.

Walker, who introduced legislation that helped commissioners pass the rollback after Stroger's vetoes, is working with county Commissioner Timothy Schneider, R-Streamwood, on the additional tax cut.

"I think the (half-point) rollback will bring some relief, but most of it will be psychological because we need to (cut) it further to have economic relief," Walker said.



Recent Headlines

Cook County property tax bills posted online ahead of mailing, taxes due August 1
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
ABC Channel 7

Cook County Assessor’s Office asks commissioners to lend staff — and is told, yeah, we’re pretty busy
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Health Program Focuses on ‘Whole Person Care’
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
WTTW News

Beekeeping Behind Bars: Inmates Raise Bees at Cook County Jail
Friday, June 14, 2019
WTTW News

Court rules county retirees entitled to health care no matter who last employer was
Thursday, June 13, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Prevent Illinois from being the next ground zero for measles
Thursday, June 13, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

At Cook County Jail, Inmates Relax Their Minds, Bodies With Yoga
Thursday, June 06, 2019
Prison Mindfulness Institute

Illinois Dept. of Revenue Releases Final 2018 Cook County Equalization Factor
Thursday, June 06, 2019
JD Supra

Skokie drops recent proposal to opt out of Cook County minimum wage ordinance
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Tribune

JAMA examines rising drug costs • CVS' ambitious transformation • Cook County extends Medicaid contract
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

DCFS says nonprofit misused taxpayer dollars, demands repayment of $100K
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County judge, ripped for ‘insensitive’ racial comments, dumped from bench
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Offers Low Cost Rabies And Microchipping Clinic
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Patch

Masturbating Cook County Jail inmates could cost taxpayers $2 million-plus in legal fees
Tuesday, June 04, 2019

New training and protocols needed at Cook County, task force says after sexual harassment scandal
Friday, May 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County assessor's tax reform bill skids in Springfield
Friday, May 31, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi's property tax reforms stall out in Springfield
Friday, May 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

The North Shore Mosquito Abatement District has found the first mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile virus in the District this year.
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County to Address Perinatal Health Disparities with $4.8M Grant
Friday, May 24, 2019
WTTW News

Audit Recommends Ways To Overhaul Cook County Property Tax System
Thursday, May 23, 2019
WBEZ News

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP