Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

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.

   
  Last year more people used the County's forest preserves than visited Yellowstone National Park.
   
     
     
     



Preckwinkle threatens 11 percent budget cut

Tuesday, October 03, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business
by Greg Hinz

 

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is going on offense as a vote nears on whether to repeal her highly unpopular tax on sweetened beverages, saying doing so could force an 11 percent across-the-board cut in county spending.

In a fiscal note sent to commissioners just before the weekend, Ammar Rizki, the county's acting chief financial officer, said losing the tax would reduce county income slightly over $200 million in fiscal 2018 without a new revenue source, resulting in "an approximate 11 percent reduction to each of those departments and offices from their base FY2017 appropriated expenditures."

The leader of the campaign to repeal the penny-an-ounce tax said he won't be put off by "scare tactics."

"President Preckwinkle has failed to do the hard work to reform" county government, said West Side Commissioner Richard Boykin, who had been considering running against Preckwinkle in next year's election but last week said he instead would seek a new term. If she had done what she should, only "a small hole" would exist that could be filled from other sources, Boykin said.

Preckwinkle's spokesman rejected that.

Rizki's note came just days before Preckwinkle is due to unveil her fiscal 2018 budget on Oct. 5 and barely a week before the board's Finance Committee is scheduled to vote Oct. 10 on repealing the tax.

The note does not explain why an 11 percent cut would be needed, but Preckwinkle this summer had threatened a 10 percent cut if the tax, then under hold because of a court challenge from the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, was not implemented. Cook County Circuit Court Judge Dan Kubasiak eventually lifted his order preventing the levy.

The note does say the projected revenue loss is being averaged across "all departments funded by the corporate fund, public safety fund and health fund." That's all of county government, including such key areas as the sheriff's office and the county's hospital and health network.

Officials from those agencies had no immediate response, but Boykin said such an across-the-board solution "misses the mark."

Instead of threatening, Boykin said, Preckwinkle should be taking steps such as reclaiming funds for budgeted but unfilled jobs throughout county government, "holding the line on wage increases" for both union and administrative workers, and selling some of the county's receivable for debt in the health system. Boykin suggested the latter would enable the county to net $20 million to $30 million on $90 million of overdue bills it might never collect itself.

Preckwinkle spokesman Frank Shuftan said that if Boykin "has any ideas that make sense and are rooted in real math," he ought to put them forward.

"Since her election in 2010, President Preckwinkle has closed $1.8 billion in budget gaps, cut $657 million in expenditures, reduced the workforce by 10 percent and reduced bonded indebtedness by 11 percent," Shuftan said. "Commissioner Boykin, like all commissioners, gets regular budget briefings throughout the year. He voted in favor of the current budget and in favor of the current collective-bargaining agreements."

The vote on repeal is very close. Insiders say the measure, which passed 8-8, with Preckwinkle breaking the tie, now has the nine votes needed to pass but perhaps not the 11 votes believed needed for a veto override.

Update—A spokeswoman for Sheriff Tom Dart says the office has been working on an 11 percent cut at Preckwinkle’s request and hitting that target will be “extremely difficult,” with an indefinite hiring freeze and likely some layoffs on the table.



Recent Headlines

Retail group drops lawsuit against Cook County soda pop tax after its repeal
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County prosecutors release 6 years of charging data
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Toni Preckwinkle on Soda Tax Repeal, County Budget Shortfall
Monday, October 16, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

How Trump's Obamacare subsidy cuts could affect your county
Monday, October 16, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Fired sheriff’s officer wins lawsuit; could undo dozens of firings
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

How to Win Against Big Soda
Sunday, October 15, 2017
New York Times

Cook County soda tax repeal garners mixed reactions from Evanston restaurants
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Daily Northwestern

The soda tax was repealed, but Cook County still has to find a way to fund the government
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Chicago Reader

Inspector general's report alleges nepotism, political influence in south suburban sanitary district
Saturday, October 14, 2017
Chicago Tribune

7-Eleven settles lawsuit with customer over soda tax charge
Friday, October 13, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County officials faced with $200M budget gap after pop tax repeal
Friday, October 13, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County officials faced with $200M budget gap after pop tax repeal
Friday, October 13, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

The Week in Review: Soda Tax Fizzles Out
Friday, October 13, 2017
WTTW The Week in Review

Justice Department latest sanctuary city move on Chicago, Cook County
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Finding hope, promise in the wreckage of the Cook County soda tax
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County pop tax one step away from repeal after 15-1 test vote
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Board repeals soda tax
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Why I voted to keep Cook County's soda tax
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Morning Spin: Vote to repeal pop tax expected today
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County officials vote 15-1 to repeal sugary drink tax
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
ABC 7 Chicago

all news items

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