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.
   
     
     
     



Editorial: Commissioners: Shelve this Cook County job killer

Monday, March 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune
by Editorial Board

From time to time a Cook County municipality will announce the arrival of a new warehouse or other project tied to the granting of a county property tax incentive. The idea is simple: Provide these deals to woo or retain employers.

Some tax incentives make sense, while others are lazy government giveaways — we’re not debating the broader issue here. Instead, we’re warning that the Cook County Board is considering a big change to an important property tax incentive program that would wreck it by glomming on costly, union-friendly conditions.

 

Do you like the idea of employers moving into Cook County? Hiring people? Sticking around? Heard enough bad news about jobs and residents fleeing Illinois to better economic climes? Then you want commissioners to make the right decision and shelve this job-killing proposal. The less business activity there is in Cook County, the less property tax revenue is generated, which means homeowners will get socked even more.

The tax incentive deal in the crosshairs is used primarily to help Cook County suburbs competing with adjacent, lower-tax areas outside the county. The program offers long-term property tax cuts to certain industrial or commercial real estate investments. Why is it a valuable program? Because Cook County taxes are so high. “It’s an equalizer,” Homewood Mayor Richard Hofeld told the Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle. “It puts the south suburbs on a level playing field with Indiana five minutes away. It makes us competitive. Without it, we’re through.”

The proposal now before the board would gut this incentive program by requiring recipients to pay the “prevailing wage” to contractors and subcontractors. It also would require participation in a federally approved apprenticeship program. Both mandates would add significantly to the cost of a project. Locking in an inflexible “prevailing wage” can increase the labor cost of a project by 30 percent, according to research cited by the Associated Builders and Contractors. Apprenticeship programs also are pricey and paperwork-intensive.

Each of those requirements may have their place in certain labor contracts, but they shouldn’t be dumped onto a county tax incentive program intended to jump-start economic development. They’d likely wipe out the value of the incentives. The Cook County suburbs would become an economic “desert” without this incentive program, Commissioner Tim Schneider told us. Of course labor unions love the idea of mandating higher wages, and that’s who supports this proposal. They hope to find enough friendly faces on the board to get this measure passed at Wednesday’s County Board meeting.

 

Thankfully, there are voices — a lot of voices — speaking out against the plan. Especially hopping mad are at least 38 members of the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, who warn that this proposal would destroy their efforts at economic recovery. “Come to the south suburbs,” Park Forest Mayor John Ostenburg told commissioners at a recent hearing. “We’ll get the bus and we’ll take you around from empty building to empty building, and then you tell us that we don’t need viable incentives that help us get more business.”

We’re told several commissioners took up the offer of a bus tour. We hope they came away agreeing that this property tax incentive program should stay as it is. The commissioners just took a lot of heat from the public over their failed soda tax. Did they not learn a lesson? Voters want them to alleviate tax burdens and promote economic growth, not make Cook County more expensive and less competitive.

Commissioners: Shelve this job-killing proposal.

 



Recent Headlines

Woman, 19, arrested after escaping police custody at Cook County courthouse
Sunday, December 09, 2018
WLS ABC Chicago 7

Here's an exciting prospect: A boring assessor's office
Saturday, December 08, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Sheriff starts unique inmate program to combat Chicago's gun epidemic
Thursday, December 06, 2018
RTV 6 Indianapolis

Staff feud at tax appeals board turns nasty
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Tax Bills Posted Online Three Months Early
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
CBS Chicago

County Board makes it easier to choose Preckwinkle successor
Tuesday, December 04, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

New Cook County assessor vows end to favoritism as he takes office
Monday, December 03, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

New Cook County Board members sworn in Monday
Monday, December 03, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County referendums: 'Yes' to everything
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Chicago City Wire

Glenview to discuss Cook County minimum wage, paid sick leave ordinances in December
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wilmette reverses course, fully adopts both county minimum wage and sick time rules
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

What Pritzker's minimum wage increase plan could mean for the suburbs
Monday, November 26, 2018
Daily Herald

Cook County sheriff’s vehicle struck during ISP pursuit on I-294
Sunday, November 25, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County 'Tails' program offers redemption for inmates, dogs
Thursday, November 22, 2018
Daily Herald

Cook County correctional officer owns bar where security guard Jemel Roberson shot by cop, officials say
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Chicago Tribune

More than 2 months after sisters were killed in crash with Cook County sheriff's officer, family still waits for answers
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Jail guard’s retaliation suit can proceed
Monday, November 19, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Northbrook will revisit Cook County minimum wage ordinance in May
Sunday, November 18, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suffredin: County to seek 'safeguards' for golf course road
Friday, November 16, 2018
Evanston NOW

She's been waiting 15 months for her rape kit to be processed. A new proposal to track evidence aims to change that.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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