Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

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.
   
     
     
     



A Veteran of Budget Battles Makes Case for Compromise

Monday, January 05, 2004
Crain's Chicago Business
by John H. Stroger Jr.

In 1994, I ran for president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners on a platform of reducing the reliance on property taxes as a mechanism to fund the operations of this government.

In 1995, property taxes represented 32% of our budget. Today, through the use of alternate revenue sources and serious spending cuts, property taxes represent less than 25% of our revenues. A close look at the county's share of the average taxpayer's bill will reveal that for every $100 paid, the county receives only $8.40.

With that money, we must provide - by state law - a public safety system that includes the courts, jail and juvenile facilities, criminal defense and prosecution, which together account for 51% of our operating budget.

Our health care system represents 40% of the budget and includes four hospitals, 30 ambulatory clinics and a Department of Public Health that is charged with, among its traditional responsibilities, handling the current influenza outbreak, emerging threats of bioterrorism and West Nile virus cases in our suburban area of more than 120 municipalities.

The remaining 9% of the budget funds a number of departments and offices, including our 535-mile highway system, the medical examiner's office, the election system and the tax assessment, collection and distribution systems.

County governments are not glamorous, but they are necessary.

I have a staff of credentialed financial professionals who have been analyzing and preparing budgets for many years. The $2.9-billion budget we presented is based on the historical expenses and revenues, the best practices in the field of public finance and the obligations of this county in terms of services and personnel.

I have proposed a balanced budget for 2004. For the fifth consecutive year, it does not raise property taxes, and for the ninth consecutive year, it reduces our head count - by an additional 246 positions.

I am not opposed to cuts, and have demonstrated that during my tenure as president by cutting 1,500 - or 10% - of the jobs in the offices I control. I have asked the 11 independently elected county officials to share the burden of cuts, but they have pledged to me that they have done their best to keep their expenses as low as possible.

Our conservative financial approach over the past eight years has earned Cook County the highest bond rating in 25 years, which in turn has saved taxpayers millions of dollars in interest costs. This third-party endorsement of our financial management may be lost on those who try to diminish our accomplishments, but we take great pride in knowing that we have managed the taxpayers' money responsibly.

The 2004 budget is in the hands of the Finance Committee, where the amendment process takes place. Some first-term commissioners have suggested cuts that would require the elimination of 3,300 jobs, a reduction that would result in drastic service cuts at a time when our public safety system is already stretched and more people are relying on our health care system. That said, I have expressed my desire to work with them to develop a mutual compromise that would not require cuts in service.

The taxpayers of this county have demonstrated their confidence in my ability to manage the second-largest county in the United States for a third term. I take that charge seriously, and believe I have lived up to my commitment of holding the line on property taxes while providing the services required by law and demanded by those we serve.

John H. Stroger Jr. is president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners.



Recent Headlines

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas on unclaimed property tax exemptions: ” Most seniors didn’t know that they could get it.”
Friday, July 19, 2019
WGN Chicago

Top Forest Preserve cop quits after burying ticket of county pol’s pal who asked ‘Do you know who I am?’
Friday, July 19, 2019
Chicago Tribune

EDITORIAL: ‘Do you know who I am?’ Not yet, but we sure know your type
Friday, July 19, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Commissioner Luis Arroyo says he got a friend’s parking ticket voided
Friday, July 19, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago-Area Cooling Centers Offer Residents Chance to Beat the Heat
Thursday, July 18, 2019
NBC 5 Chicago

Editorial: ‘Do you know who I am?’ Not yet, but the people of Cook County deserve to find out.
Thursday, July 18, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Top Forest Preserve cop quits after burying ticket of county pol’s pal who asked ‘Do you know who I am?
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago’s top cop ‘must stop misleading the public’ about violence, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says in heated letter to Mayor Lori Lightfoot
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Chicago Tribune

‘Do you know who I am?’ Investigators say Cook County commissioner pressed cops to scrap ally’s $250 parking ticket
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

IG: Cook County needs revamp on sexual harassment outside of work following allegations against Preckwinkle ex-chief of staff
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Higher Assessments Hit North Suburban Commercial Property Owners
Thursday, July 11, 2019
Evanston Patch

How did an inmate get a loaded gun into Cook County Jail?
Thursday, July 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Check exemptions, file an appeal: What you can do to fight your Cook County property tax bill
Thursday, July 11, 2019
WGN Chicago

’A lack of mental health services has plagued Chicago for decades’: Holy Cross Hospital expanding to fill that void on the Southwest Side
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Construction Begins on New Cook County Health Center
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Daily Herald

How To Appeal Your Cook County Property Tax Assessment
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
CBS Chicago

County Commission Hopes to Increase 2020 Census Participation
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
WTTW News

Cook County Property Tax Bills: Where Does Your Money Go?
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
CBS Chicago

Seniors Receive Inflated Property Tax Bills By Mistake
Tuesday, July 09, 2019
WBBM Radio

Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts’ property tax appeal under investigation after Tribune finds assessment problem
Tuesday, July 09, 2019
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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