Will sales tax hike push shoppers into other counties?

Jessica D'Onofrio Image
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
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Will sales tax hike push shoppers into other counties?

WESTERN SPRINGS, Ill. (WLS) -- Family-owned Casey's Market in Western Springs worries its loyal customer base might find another butcher shop and deli because of the increase in sales tax in Cook County. DuPage County is right next door.

Cook County Board commissioners voted Wednesday to increase the sales tax by 1-percent next year.

"It's very difficult. I think we're gonna be losing because we're so on the border like that. We're gonna be losing a lot of customers," Joe Lane, co-owner of Casey's Market, said.

Some shoppers say they'll feel the squeeze and change their habits.

"I plan out my trips and if I live along the county boundary, I'm gonna go where the sales tax is a little lower," Julie Gawthrop said.

Avenue Computer in Oak Park is trying to stay competitive with businesses outside Cook County to keep people from buying elsewhere.

"I wouldn't say I get held hostage over the sales tax, but I am forced continually to lower my prices below what might be fair if I was in another county," Ross Wasserstrom, Avenue Computer, said.

Customer Walter Street III said he would walk a mile to save a penny.

"Every dollar counts. We're working people so we think about our budget yearly," Street said.

Back at Casey's Market, the tax hike could put jobs on the chopping block, Lane said.

"We've got to figure out a way to make money. That's what we're here for. But we also want to give the best service we can and the best product we can for the best price we can," Lane said.