The County Board passed a use tax of 1.25 percent as one of a handful of measures pushed by Preckwinkle to raise fees to help balance the 2013 budget. Preckwinkle then lowered the rate to 0.75 percent in a bid to bring it into compliance with the law.
But attorneys sued on behalf of companies that would be hit by the tax, and a Cook County Circuit Court judge issued an injunction freezing collections last July. In October, the judge ordered the county to stop collecting the tax. This week's appellate ruling affirms that earlier decision.
Preckwinkle spokeswoman Karen Vaughan said the county has not been counting on revenue from the use tax to balance the budget because of the court case.
"We are reviewing the decision and will be working with the Office of the Cook County State's Attorney to determine whether we file a petition for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court," Vaughan said in an email. "Due to the ongoing litigation, Cook County has not been enforcing the tax. There are no revenues from the tax included in our 2014 budget or 2015 preliminary budget forecast.”