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Chamber News

Oct 27

President Preckwinkle Presents Proposed 2012 County Budget to Chamber Board of Directors

Remains Committed to Sales Tax Rollback but Increases Liquor and Use Tax to Help Close $315 million Gap

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle spoke before the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors to outline her proposed 2012 budget that she introduced on Tuesday, October 25th before a special meeting of the Cook County Board of Commissioners.

President Preckwinkle maintained her commitment to rolling back the Stroger sales tax increase, implementing long-term financial planning, eliminating the structural deficit, and reducing the health subsidy without reducing patient care. In addition, the budget proposes cutting expenses by laying off 1,000 county employees and reducing expenditures by 3%. The Chamber commends her action on the budget to address the structural problems facing the county’s financial system.

Additionally, Preckwinkle presented her argument for also including in the budget increases to some county taxes and fees including the alcohol tax, the use tax on vehicles and boats, and expanding the tobacco tax to include chewing and loose leaf tobacco. As well as increase, parking fees at some county owned facilities and require residents and businesses in unincorporated parts of the county to pay for police protection provided by the Sheriff's office.

The Chamber fully supports President Preckwinkle's stance to move forward with the roll-back of the remainder of the 1% sales tax increase initiated under former-President Stroger. We are committed to working with her and the County Board to defeat any attempts to nullify the .25 percent reduction scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2012, saving taxpayers over $53 million next year.

On the other hand, the Chamber is concerned about the impact of any proposed tax increases on residents and businesses. Such increases are hard to swallow and add to the already heavy tax burden in Cook County. The Chamber continues to gather input from members on the impact the proposed tax and fee increases will have on the business community.

As in the past, we plan to closely monitor the budget hearings and participate in the public hearings, which begin on Tuesday, November 1st. Click here for the public hearing schedule.

For a copy of the President's budget address click here.

For more in-depth local media coverage of the new budget, click here.

For detailed revenue information, click here.

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