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:  
   
 
 

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.
   
     
     
     



STATEMENT OF COOK COUNTY COMMISSIONER LARRY SUFFREDIN, 13TH DISTRICT ON REPEAL OF SWEETENED BEVERAGE TAX

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Special to suffredin.org

I voted to keep the Sweetened Beverage Tax because it was a tax on a small number of people rather than a general sales or property tax on all. This tax had a twofold purpose, first it provided enough revenue to balance our 2017 budget without gimmicks; and secondly, it helped us fight the increase in heart disease, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis and the high cost of treatment.

In addition, and unfortunately the repeal of the Sweetened Beverage Tax also repeals the law that prohibited the raising of any taxes by the County until after 2020. This tax limitation covered property taxes, sales taxes and home rule excise taxes. The repeal of the tax limitation means all taxes are in play.

The most important role of a County Commissioner is to pass a yearly budget that meets the needs of the residents and fairly balances services and costs. The functions of County government are often unknown to our own citizens because only a small number of citizens are directly involved in public safety or public health services. Over two-third of the County budget goes to both public safety and public health.

Public safety, through the Chief Judge, Sheriff, Medical Examiner, State's Attorney, Public Defender, and Circuit Court Clerk provide our frontline of defense to lawlessness and violence in our communities.

Public health, through the Cook County Health and Hospital System provide our frontline of care to the 1.1 million residents of Cook County on Medicaid and others who are without any form of medical coverage.

The budget process involves weeks of hearings and discussion on what is the best mix of taxes, fees and grants to fund a balanced service budget. This process has safe guards to protect against excesses. I have always been very active in the budget process offering more tax savings and service modification amendments than most Commissioners. The agreement to prohibit further taxation until 2020 came out of the budget process.

The key to the 2017 budget was a new Sweetened Beverage Tax, which like other excise taxes on liquor and tobacco was reasonable. The budget this tax would support did the following:

Streamlined our work force which in the last 5 years has been reduced by 6300 full time jobs;

Stabilized our Cook County Health and Hospital System staffing to meet changing patient needs; and

Increased the utilization of County Care dollars to reduce the dependency on County taxpayer support from $400 million to $111 million.

After the 2017 budget process was finished the following occurred:

First, when proposed the Sweetened Beverage Tax covered all purchases. The Obama Administration told the County that SNAP recipients could be taxed. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration changed that;

Second, the implementation rules were more complex than many retailers could handle with their point of sale systems;

Third, rules confusion lead to a lawsuit in which the retailers sued and initially won and then lost and now they appeal; and

Fourth, after the imposition of the tax on August 2nd, both opponents and supporters of the tax started a barrage of TV, radio and print ads and mail. Unfortunately, the messaging created many misunderstandings about the tax.

Finally, the will of the Board changed on this tax. It was repealed. I voted to keep the tax because it was a reasonable tax with prohibition on further tax increases; and it is bad policy to change taxes outside the budget process.

I want to acknowledge and thank the many citizens who expressed their thoughts on this tax.


Recent Headlines

Cannabis, gambling taxes to boost county amid long-term budget woes
Thursday, July 02, 2020
The Daily Line

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Thursday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Chicago Tribune

'Going To Do The Best We Can': Cook County Adjusts Outreach Strategy For US Census Due To COVID-19
Thursday, July 02, 2020
WBBM Radio

Why local school districts are lining up against Fritz Kaegi
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

How COVID-19 threatens health care in Cook County
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County’s new website shows nearly half of census funds spent on advertising, marketing
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Forest Preserves of Cook County opens more in Phase 4
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Daily Herald

Dart, other county sheriffs demand state prisons start accepting inmates again
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

A COVID-19 surge in your county? New Illinois website offers ways to check.
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Chicago, Cook County, Illinois raise minimum wage Wednesday
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
The Daily Line

Illinois ends June with about half the daily COVID-19 deaths and new cases as in peak month of May
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Kim Foxx confirms office will err on side of dismissing cases related to protests, curfew
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Kim Foxx plans to drop charges against those violating curfew, Fox 32 news reports
Monday, June 29, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Illinois minimum wage increases take effect July 1
Monday, June 29, 2020
ABC 7 Eyewitness News

Home property taxes still rising despite bigger hike on business
Monday, June 29, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Illinois announces 15 additional coronavirus deaths, lowest one-day total since March
Sunday, June 28, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Former county health chief: Racism common factor in deaths in ’95 Chicago heat wave, COVID-19
Sunday, June 28, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

‘And She Could Be Next’ profiles grassroots political heroines of the moment
Sunday, June 28, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Amazon to open two new fulfillment centers in south suburbs
Saturday, June 27, 2020
Chicago Crusader

Cook County courts reopening July 6
Friday, June 26, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

all news items

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