Stroger to announce tax rollback plan

April 14, 2009 9:01:17 PM PDT
ABC7 News has learned that Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has a plan to roll back part of the Cook County sales tax, the same sales tax he pushed to increase by one percent last summer.Stroger now wants to cut the tax by a quarter of a percent.

His announcement is expected Wednesday, but Stroger isn't the only one who has a tax rollback plan.

When that tax increase passed there was nearly a revolt in parts of Cook County. Some cities even considered seceding from the county, saying it was sending shoppers to other counties and hurting businesses.

Now President Stroger says he can roll back part of the increase without hurting the budget.

Facing growing budget deficits, Cook County commissioners passed the one percent increase in the sales tax early last year. It was expected to bring in $400 million more in tax revenues each year for the county.

But now, according to a Stroger spokesperson, with the passage of President Obama's stimulus package, relief may be on the way for residents of Cook County who have been paying one of the highest sales tax in the country since the increase took effect in July.

"We're still in a very dire economic and public healthcare public crisis. We can't forecast where this downward spin is going to turn or stop. But we see some form of relief just in small part, where we can now offer a rollback back to our residents," said Sean Howard, Stroger spokesperson.

Howard says President Stroger's actions are not in response to a planned news conference on Wednesday that outspoken Republican Commissioner Tony Peraica will hold to announce his plans to repeal the entire sales tax increase from last year.

"We need to provide some immediate relief right now, because people are losing their homes, they're losing their jobs," said Tony Peraica, (R) Cook County commissioner.

Here is an example of how it will affect you.

  • If a family dined at a restaurant in Chicago and the bill was $100, you'd pay $10.25 in sales tax.
  • If the Stroger roll back plan is passed, you'd save a quarter.
  • The proposed ordinance is expected to be debated on Wednesday before the Cook County Board.

    Stroger believes he has the votes to pass his plan, according to his spokesperson.

    Commissioner Peraica's news conference is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning and the board meets at 10 a.m.


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