Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

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.

   
  The Cook County Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.
   
     
     
     



New Cook County budget includes $1-a-pack cigarette tax hike

Friday, November 09, 2012
Chicago Tribune
by Hal Dardick

The cost of buying cigarettes and guns in Cook County will rise next year after commissioners today voted 16-1 to approve County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's $2.95 billion budget.

In addition to the $1-per-pack increase on a pack of smokes and a new $25 per-gun tax on firearm purchases, the board also enacted a 1.25 percent use tax on large out-of-county purchases, with an exemption on the first $3,500 spent. There’s also a $1,000-per-year tax on slot machines and a $200-per-year tax on video gambling terminals.


The cigarette tax increases March 1, while the use tax and gun tax are effective April 1. The gambling machine tax won’t be implemented until June 1, giving the Illinois General Assembly time to offer up an alternative way to share gambling revenue with the county if it so chooses.

All those taxes, and some modest fee increases for permits and morgue documents, is expected to raise $41.7 million.

“I think the revenue increases are small, they’re targeted and largely they’re avoidable, if you so choose, to residents of the county,” said Commissioner Bridget Gainer, D-Chicago, as she voted in favor of the document.

Preckwinkle’s budget also kills off the last quarter-cent of the penny-on-the-dollar sales tax increase enacted under Preckwinkle’s predecessor, Todd Stroger, which will inflict an $86 million hit on the county’s bottom line. The county portion of the sales tax will drop to .75 percent on Jan. 1.

The only “no” vote came from Commissioner William Beavers, D-Chicago, who was Stroger’s floor leader and often has butted heads with Preckwinkle and Finance Committee Chairman John Daley, D-Chicago. All four Republicans on the 17-member board voted in favor of the budget, after lauding Preckwinkle’s bipartisan approach and cuts in spending.

Preckwinkle has defended the new cigarette and gun taxes by saying they will defray the costs to the county’s criminal justice and public health systems — which account for nearly three fourths of annual county spending — caused by smoking and guns by people who resell them to criminals for profit. The higher cigarette tax also could deter young people from starting the harmful habit, she said.

The use tax, which is expected to mostly affect businesses, is designed to encourage in-county purchases, Preckwinkle said.

The biggest chunk of new revenue will come from the cigarette tax, which follows a recent state increase of $1 per pack that went into effect June 24. County officials expect its increase to raise $25.6 million next year, saying they have accounted for folks who will leave the county to buy cigarettes or quit smoking.

Some commissioners, though, have questioned the long-term reliability of the cigarette tax increase, which will boost the overall taxes on a pack of smokes in Chicago to $6.67 — making it just 19 cents shy of New York City’s nation-leading $6.86.

When the county last raised the cigarette tax by $1 per pack in 2006, collections initially shot up by $46.5 million, county records show. But three years later, in 2009, the county collected $20.4 million less than it had in 2005.

The 1.25 percent “buy-local tax” on out-of-county purchases, expected to bring in $13.8 million, is on shaky legal ground, according to a Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois analysis. Preckwinkle’s aides said they believe the law will withstand any legal challenge.

Preckwinkle’s budget was aided when the federal government recently granted the county Health and Hospitals System a waiver that will allow the early enrollment of 115,000 more patients in Medicaid that otherwise wouldn’t pay for county health care. That is expected to net $99 million for the public health system.

One initiative included in the budget is a $2 million fund to make grants to groups that combat gun violence and set up a gun court.

Another is setting aside $5 million to upgrade roads and sewers in unincorporated areas to make them more attractive for annexation to neighboring suburbs. Preckwinkle aims to eliminate unincorporated areas, which put stress on the county’s budget, within the next decade.

She’s also continuing efforts to reduce the population at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, where it costs $600 a day to house and educate young people accused of crimes, by finding alternatives to get them treatment and guidance.

And she’s making more efforts to reduce the jail population, where it costs $143 a day to detain inmates, by taking steps to get more people accused of non-violent crimes released on bond while they await trial.


Recent Headlines

After momentous week, prosecutor Kim Foxx says 'we have to right wrongs'
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

ONTIVEROS: I think I miss that soda pop tax
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Budget Cuts Expected For Cook County Public Guardian’s Office
Monday, November 20, 2017
CBS Chicago

Ex-Cook County Board President Todd Stroger says he's running again
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Police union president slams Foxx, prosecutors after exonerations
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

MIHALOPOULOS: Will pop-tax anger unseat Preckwinkle, or fizzle out?
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

After Warning of 'Painful Cuts,' Preckwinkle to Unveil 2018 Budget Amendment
Friday, November 17, 2017
NBC Chicago

Watchdog: Quit stalling on Cook County justice system data
Friday, November 17, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

The Week in Review: Record Wave of Exonerations Tied to Rogue Cop
Friday, November 17, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Preckwinkle, some commissioners say enough votes for amended budget
Friday, November 17, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle: Nothing Pleasant About Hundreds Of Layoffs
Friday, November 17, 2017
CBS Chicago

Cook County commissioners get behind Preckwinkle's budget cuts
Friday, November 17, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Chuy Garcia Sole Cook County Commissioner Iffy on Budget
Friday, November 17, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Preckwinkle takes on Dart in county budget process
Thursday, November 16, 2017
WLS Am-News

Mass exoneration: Convictions of 15 men, tied to tainted CPD officer, overturned
Thursday, November 16, 2017

Chicago Judge Throws Out 15 Convictions On Fears Police Reports Were Dishonest
Thursday, November 16, 2017
National Public Radio

Slowik: Debate over rezoning, shuttering of truck terminal near Lemont was 'politicized,' operator says
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Daily Southtown

Good on ya, Kim Foxx, for righting old wrongs
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Chicago Tribune

15 Men Cleared in First-Ever Mass Exoneration in Cook County
Thursday, November 16, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Wilmette to form advisory group on minimum wage, sick time ordinances
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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