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.

   
  The first blood bank in the world was established at Cook County Hospital by Dr. Bernard Fantus in 1937.
   
     
     
     



Cook County debt gets dinged
And the culprit cited by S&P is familiar: pension debt.

Friday, January 10, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business
by Lynne Marek

S & P Global Ratings downgraded Cook County debt ratings one notch today, citing the county's underfunded pensions.

The downgrade applied to the county's general obligation and sales tax revenue bond ratings, with the former lowered to A+ and the latter to AA-. The ratings remain investment grade.

"The downgrade reflects the county's large and underfunded pension obligation, and although the county has made steps to address its pension funding levels—specifically with a new sales tax revenue stream beginning in fiscal 2016 that significantly increased its annual contributions—its ability to meets its planned additional payments over the long term will remain an ongoing challenge, in our view,” said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Blake Yocom in a statement today announcing the downgrade.

Cook County has about $2.8 billion in general obligation bonds outstanding, the ratings agency said. While it gave the county credit for “progress on its operational budget” it said “little to no progress was made on its pension liability.”

“Although the county's poorly funded pension will likely place considerable pressure on its finances, in our view, recent progress toward actuarially based statutory payments through new sales tax revenue has reduced the likelihood of plan insolvency,” the statement said.

While the pension funding remains “very weak,” S&P doesn’t expect the situation to worsen over the next two years, though it didn’t rule it out beyond that two-year period.

The agency concluded: “Pension contributions are known and are not expected to cause significant budgetary pressure. However, given the plans' assumptions and methods and very low funded ratio, costs are certain to rise and will be a continuing challenge for the county, particularly given the reduced flexibility caused by overlapping entities, in our view.”

Ted Nelson, a spokesman for the county said: "We are disappointed with the decision to downgrade the Cook County's Sales Tax and General Obligation Bonds but are pleased to see S&P praise our strong management and financial practices as well as our actions to address legacy debt. We remain committed to building on the progress we have made over the years of passing balanced budgets, addressing our legacy debt, tackling pension obligations and working to secure the County’s financial future."

He also noted that the county wouldn't be looking to sell new bonds until the middle of the year, at the earliest. The county wouldn't face the higher borrowing costs that are triggered by a lower rating until that time, though it can influence the value of bonds already in the market too.



Recent Headlines

Deadline for Senior Citizen Property Tax Deferral
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

Kaegi: 'The embrace of a failed status quo makes no sense'
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

City Club of Chicago: Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
WGN Radio

Cook County Assessor Staying Below The Radar
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
WBBM Radio

Census hiring event Wednesday in Schaumburg
Monday, January 20, 2020
Daily Herald

Proposed health oversight shift not a ‘power grab,’ Cook County officials say
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Cashes In On Legal Weed
Thursday, January 16, 2020
WBEZ News

Cook County OKs 3% marijuana tax
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Preckwinkle looks to claw back some oversight of Cook County Health
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Pace Announces Public Hearings on Proposed North Shore Service Changes
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

Pot taxes in Chicago could be as high as 41% by July as county moves forward with 3% levy
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle Wants Sweeping New Authority Over Cook County Health
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
WBEZ News

Preckwinkle urges businesses to help fight 'cost of segregation'
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Daily Herald

County Finance Committee set to approve $165K settlement in ‘political discrimination’ case
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

More Weed Taxes? New Hospital? What To Watch For At Cook County Board
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
WBEZ News

Seniors now able to apply for multi-year homeowners property tax break this year
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Owes $79 Million In Unclaimed Property Tax Refunds; Do You Have Money Coming?
Monday, January 13, 2020
CBS Chicago

Lincolnwood OKs sick days for workers but rejects minimum wage
Sunday, January 12, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Cook county Just Housing Ordinance affects associations
Saturday, January 11, 2020
Daily Herald

Cook County debt gets dinged
Friday, January 10, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

all news items

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