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.

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



Cook County Board repeals soda tax

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times
by Rachel Hinton

A 15 to 2 vote cemented the fate of the county’s controversial sweetened beverage tax.

The Cook County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday repealed the controversial penny-an-ounce tax on sweetened beverages it passed last November.

Wednesday’s final action comes after a similar vote Tuesday in the board’s Finance Committee.

Tuesday’s vote had come after nearly five hours of public comment — featuring Cook County Clerk David Orr, Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown and Public Defender Amy Campanelli. Under the plan, the tax would remain in effect until the start of the new county fiscal year on Dec. 1.

Wednesday’s meeting was shorter, with fewer people signing up to speak about the issue.

The only vote against repeal Tuesday came from Larry Suffredin (D-Evanston). He was one of the two no votes on Wednesday as well. The other commissioner to vote against the repeal was Jerry “Iceman” Butler, D-Chicago.

In a statement, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle had expressed “disappointment” and challenged commissioners to fill the budget hole left by the loss of pop tax revenue.

Wednesday Preckwinkle said the board faced “tough choices” and needed to look forward.

“Last week I presented two paths and today the commissioners decided,” Preckwinkle said. “Some of the choices we have to make will be painful, but ultimately we have to have a balanced budget.”

The tax has been controversial since it was narrowly passed by the board after Preckwinkle cast the deciding vote when commissioners deadlocked on the measure.

 

The tide turned on the tax last Friday, when a bipartisan deal to rescind the tax was announced. The tax will stay in effect through the end of the county’s fiscal year — on Nov. 30.

Those in support of a repeal have more than enough support to override a Preckwinkle veto. That’s a major setback to Preckwinkle, who has argued that the tax was needed to avoid major cuts to the public health and safety sectors.

RELATED: County ethics chief OKs commissioner to vote on pop tax repeal

Dueling ad campaigns have argued that the tax is either an onerous burden on consumers that is hurting small businesses, or a way to provide desperately needed funds and promote healthy choices and combat child obesity.

The Can the Tax Coalition, a staunch opponent of the tax that receives money from the American Beverage Association, said “beverage taxes just don’t work and we look forward to December 1st.”

 

Commissioners John Daley, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and Stanley Moore, of D-Chicago, changed their stances last week, citing conversations with constituents. Another commissioner, Dennis Deer, D-Chicago, who joined the board after the tax was approved, also said he will vote against it.

After the repeal, commissioners will need to figure out how to fill the roughly $200 million hole they’ve blown into the budget.

In the 50 days the board has to figure out a new budget, Preckwinkle said no sector of county government is off the table. She also said commissioners and county departments should expect layoffs.

Commissioner Sean Morrison, who introduced the repeal motion, said now is the time to consider “appropriate fiscal solutions.”

Those who spoke during Tuesday’s public hearing urged the commissioners to balance the budget without causing irreparable damage to public departments that depend on funding the most.

“There will be massive layoffs and my office, in its present condition, would no longer exist,” Campanelli said, detailing the downward spiral the county could find itself in if the tax is passed. “Class action lawsuits would be filed not just against the county, but against me. Not representing the poor and the indigent is not an option — it’s constitutionally mandated.”

Supporters of the repeal talked about the effect of the tax on their sales numbers, and opponents said that the health of children and the general safety of the public would be at stake.

Morrison said that he heard both sides, and while he knows the six weeks of budget talks to follow Wednesday’s vote won’t be “an easy task,” this is the time for a “new fiscal course for Cook County.



Recent Headlines

Troubled detainee at center of unusual court fight between Loyola hospital, Cook County
Monday, July 16, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Doctor fired by Cook County medical examiner now under the microscope in Indiana
Sunday, July 15, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

County officials defend Forest Preserves police in wake of man harassing woman over Puerto Rican flag shirt
Friday, July 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Familiar questions about ‘bystander effect’ arise after man berates woman for Puerto Rico shirt
Friday, July 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Berrios' analysts used Zillow, other shortcuts in assessing property values, documents show
Friday, July 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Northbrook to revisit Cook County paid sick leave policy after opting out last year
Friday, July 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Forest Preserves officials discuss officer's resignation
Friday, July 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Amid video fallout, Cook County Forest Preserve District reveals fatal crash involving worker and governmental truck
Friday, July 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Transformation in the outdoors
Friday, July 13, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Forest preserve cop resigns after apparently failing to help woman being harassed over Puerto Rico shirt
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

5 things: A civics lesson on Puerto Rico after man rants about woman's flag T-shirt, questions citizenship
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Commissioners: Get Rid of Forest Preserve Police
Thursday, July 12, 2018
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Schneider wants hearing over fatal crash blamed on Cook forest preserve driver
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Daily Herald

Man who harassed woman for Puerto Rican flag shirt charged with hate crime
Thursday, July 12, 2018
WLS ABC 7 Chicago

EDITORIAL: A judge drops a gun on a courthouse floor. So much for respect for the law
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Forest preserve officer who didn't help woman in Puerto Rican flag shirt 'tarnished the whole department,' commissioner says
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle apologizes to woman berated by man at forest preserve for wearing Puerto Rican flag shirt
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Video appears to show forest preserves officer failing to help woman being harassed for wearing shirt with Puerto Rican flag design
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Could blockchain technology transform homebuying in Cook County — and beyond?
Monday, July 09, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Forest Preserves probe cop’s response to Puerto Rican harassment complaint
Monday, July 09, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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