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Cousin: Stroger ready to tax again

Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Chicago Sun-Times
by STEVE PATTERSON

Reaching into your pocket for a higher sales tax isn't enough for Cook County Board President Todd Stroger.

He'll soon be reaching in for even more, his cousin and chief financial officer told civic leaders Monday.

In pushing to more than double the county's share of the sales tax in February, Stroger argued it would provide enough money so that the county would not have to come back for more taxes for years.

But in a speech to the City Club of Chicago, Donna Dunnings said while the sales tax hike will help "protect our bond rating" and "protect taxpayers from future economic downturns," the county has bigger problems that need even more taxes to tackle.

"The structural deficit is real and the sales tax is by no means an answer to that," she said.

Dunnings, whose salary has shot up 12 percent since she took the job last year, said the Stroger administration will turn to "other revenues," coupled with "cost containment" in an effort to balance future county budgets.

The county expects more than $400 million in new sales tax revenues to pour in next year, thanks to the hike.



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