Suffredin- Changing County Government  

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:  

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


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

  Cook County has the largest unified trial court system in the world, disposing over 6 million cases in 1990 alone.

Big stogies to cost 25 cents more starting Thursday — thanks to new county tax

Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times
by Lisa Donovan

Starting Thursday, that $9.50 Tatuaje cigar Michael Muser likes to puff on is going to cost another quarter if he picks one up from one of his favorite downtown Chicago tobacconists.

While it doesn’t mean the 37-year-old West Loop resident will give up what he calls a “sensual experience,” he says Cook County’s new taxes on stogies, loose tobacco and “chew” — which takes effect Thursday — may force him to look beyond Cook County’s borders for one of his favorite indulgences.

“It’s an emotional experience, it’s a communal experience and we like the people we buy from, so this is difficult,” Muser, the wine director at the posh Peninsula Hotel, said Tuesday inside a members-only smoking lounge at Iwan Ries & Co. at 19 S. Wabash in the Loop. “It puts a strain on the relationship I have with the retailer, especially the smaller ones, because it feels good to support them.”

On Thursday, large cigars — defined as those weighing just under half an ounce — will incur an additional 25-cent tax. Smaller cigars will be taxed at an additional nickel apiece. Customers will still have to pay an existing 9.5 percent combined city, state and county sales tax on top of that.

Loose tobacco as well as smokeless tobacco or “chew” will carry a new 30-cent per ounce tax — a rate that will double to 60 cents next year. Taxes on big stogies will go up to 30 cents next year, too.

The cash-strapped county board expanded cigarette taxes to other tobacco as part of the 2012 budget. It is expected to bring in $9.6 million by the end of this year alone.

As he puffed away on a Rocky Patel in the Iwan Ries lounge, 50-year-old Michael Benz, of LaGrange, says his bigger question is how the county — which funds the jail and courts as well as the vast health system — will use the money.

“If there was a level of trust about what government is doing with the money that would be one thing, but a lot of the trust has been squandered over the years,” the bankruptcy attorney said Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Iwan Ries filed a lawsuit against the county and Revenue Director Zahra Ali, calling the tax unconstitutional and saying the ordinance makes it unclear as to whether businesses or consumers must pay the tab.

This week, county commissioners are expected to amend the ordinance — pushed by Board President Toni Preckwinkle — to make it clear that consumers pay the tax.

“We are being overly cautious to ensure that the ordinance will hold up against any legal challenge because taxing tobacco is an effective public policy tool, proven to prevent people from picking up smoking and in helping to encourage current smokers to quit,” said Owen Kilmer, a Preckwinkle spokesman.

Recent Headlines

Preteens out of detention before trial under new ordinance
Friday, September 14, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Board bars detention of youth under 13 years old
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Injustice Watch

Preteens accused of crimes won't be locked up at Cook County juvenile center
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Slowik: Cook County offers residents last chance to comment on strategic plan
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Daily Southtown

Settlement over Cook County's 2007 decision to cut inmates' dental care will cost nearly $5.3 million
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Anti-patronage Shakman pact requiring federal oversight of Cook County hiring, firing to end
Friday, August 31, 2018
Chicago Tribune

1st District upholds merit board in firing of deputy
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Neighborhood program helps Cook County residents buy homes
Sunday, August 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Judge upholds Cook County firearm, ammunition taxes
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Editorial: E-filing should make Cook County courts more accessible. It doesn't
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County tax incentive could pave way for Wingstop, Dunkin' Donuts on Elgin's Summit Street
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: What happened to the elk?
Friday, August 10, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wells Fargo to offer $15,000 grants to potential Cook County homebuyers
Thursday, August 09, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suit alleges Cook County detainees secretly monitored in bathrooms in holding cells at courthouses
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Half the elk at Busse Woods died last year, and officials aren’t sure why
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

A letter from Dr. Jay Shannon regarding gun violence and Stroger Hospital
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Special to

As Evanston adapts to minimum wage hike, nearby towns say they have no plan to join in
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit could blast a $250 million hole in county budget
Monday, August 06, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Pappas: Automatic refunds of $19.5 million going to 53,000 homeowners because of property tax cuts
Monday, August 06, 2018
Special to

Thousands of Cook County homeowners to receive property tax refunds
Monday, August 06, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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