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:  
   
 
 

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 was created on January 15, 1831 and named after Daniel P. Cook, Member of Congress and the first Attorney from the State of Illinois.
   
     
     
     



Mixed reaction from commissioners on Cook County slot machine tax

Monday, October 15, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times
by LISA DONOVAN

Several Cook County commissioners aren’t ready to bet on Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s proposal to tax slot machines, to the tune of $800 per machine annually, as she looks to close a $115 million budget gap.


“I’m not a supporter of using gaming dollars to fund the government,” said Commissioner Gregg Goslin, a Northwest suburban Republican. “Philosophically, that’s where I’m at on it. I don’t think it’s a reliable, responsible way to fund public services. First off, it’s an unpredictable source of revenue. And it seems like we’re building up all these sin taxes — tobacco, alcohol and now gaming,” he said, referring to hikes in the alcohol and tobacco taxes. “It’s funding government on the backs of the vices of our society.”

With the county projecting revenues of $1.3 million from such a tax in 2013, it wouldn’t do much to close a $100-plus million budget gap for next year, he said.

Commissioner John Fritchey, a North Side Democrat, said he’d look at the proposed tax, but said he’s hoping to see some “appropriate” cuts to shore up costs.

“We need to be making sure we’re making appropriate cuts in the budget,” he said. “The last few years, we’ve transformed the image of county government, deciding government can perform through fiscal responsibility rather than continual revenue increases. I’m confident there are budgets of various county offices that need to be” cut, he said. “Every year we engage in the same dance of people saying there’s no room to cut, yet we continue to find areas to cut.”

Commissioner Liz Gorman, a suburban Republican whose district includes Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, could not be reached for comment.

Preckwinkle will release her roughly $3 billion budget plan on Thursday, which may include the proposal to tax the newly legalized video gambling machines in the state as well as the slot machines at the Rivers Casino, the sole casino in the county.

What would be taxable under the proposal she’s floating are the 1,000-plus slot machines at Rivers Casino. Her staff says the research they’ve done shows a single slot machine brings in more than $800 daily. Also subject to the tax would be video gambling machines that went live last week and will be allowed in restaurants, bars and truck stops. In 2009, the legislature and Gov. Pat Quinn signed off on the video gambling machines as a way to fund a $31 billion statewide construction program.

While Preckwinkle’s staff indicates they’re not going to rake in millions, revenues will follow gaming growth. But that could be limited. There are gambling bans in the city of Chicago, unincorporated Cook County and more than 100 municipalities in the county.

Regardless, those monies will be invested in the county’s public safety arm that may have to deal with the fallout from problem gambling.

“As gambling increases in Cook County with video poker in the early stages, there is a concern about a corresponding rise in compulsive gambling behavior which has a history of leading to criminal behavior,” Preckwinkle’s staff said in an emailed statement. “As many as one-half to two-thirds of compulsive gamblers have committed a crime to obtain gambling money. We believe the resources generated by this proposal will help us invest in our public safety system.”

But gaming experts and elected leaders are looking hard at the legality of the measure — most notably whether Cook County has the authority to impose such a tax.

The state’s gaming laws restrict taxation on those who hold licenses to the machines.

A Preckwinkle spokesman said in a statement: “We feel that state statute does not preempt our home rule authority.”

Zack Stamp, a lobbyist for the Illinois Coin Machine Operators Association, said: “it’s a good question, and something we’ll look into.”

He said other municipalities across the state have looked at a similar tax on machines of roughly $250 to $500 annually.

Preckwinkle’s staff has already said that some small fees and tax hikes are on the table as they cobble together the 2013 budget. But she’s holding the line on property taxes and rolling back what’s left of an old penny-on-the-dollar sales tax hike championed by her predecessor Todd Stroger, turning him in to a one-term county board president.

Last week, as first reported by the Sun-Times, she floated the idea of a special county gun and bullet tax. But that so-called violence tax appears to be more message than a substantial money-maker. With the murder rate in Chicago up 25 percent over last year, the idea is to use such tax dollars to cover the costs of treating gunshot victims at the county-funded health and hospital system.



Recent Headlines

Cook County circuit clerk says city owes $13M in fees
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Chciago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County faces $177 million in deficits over next two budget years
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle: Cook County facing 'difficult and challenging' $82 million budget shortfall
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle: $82M Budget Hole Means ‘Difficult Choices’ For Cook County
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Editorial: A Chicago revival: The Lazarus of Harrison Street
Friday, June 15, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Growing food, community
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Help Squad: Consumers can file lawsuits and other legal documents online —some free via an online fee waiver
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Residents speak out as Wilmette Board introduces minimum wage and sick time ordinances
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

County's bid to avoid attorney fees for paraplegic detainee backfires
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Forest Preserves Show Off To Visitors At Daley Plaza
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
WBBW News Radio

Peek Inside the Old Cook County Hospital, Vacant for 16 Years
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
NBC Chicago

After 16 years, renovation underway at old Cook County Hospital
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
WGN Television

Officials break ground on $1 billion overhaul of long-vacant Cook County Hospital
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

George Leighton, legendary Chicago judge and courthouse namesake, dies at 105
Thursday, June 07, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

George Leighton, Chicago judge for whom criminal courthouse is named, dies at 105
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County allows video gambling in unincorporated areas
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Backpage.com lawsuit against Cook County sheriff dismissed
Saturday, June 02, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Dorothy Brown’s office to get federal monitor for hiring practices
Friday, June 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Coyote puppies tagged, health work-ups conducted in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 31, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

EDITORIAL: Justice delayed 16 months — until a reporter starts nosing around
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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