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Sheriff Tom Dart Troubled by Talk of More Budget Cuts

Friday, May 08, 2009
Chicago Public Radio
by Tony Arnold

Cook County officials are preparing to make some deep cuts to the budget if a sales tax cut sticks.

Earlier this week, Cook County commissioners agreed to scale back the sales tax by one percentage point. The powerful chair of the Finance Committee, John Daley, led the charge. He said county departments weren't making enough cuts to their own budgets, so this tax rollback would force them to.

Sheriff Tom Dart says he's been asked to reduce his budget every year since he first took office.

DART: Whether they want to cut elsewhere, whether they want to raise revenues, however it is, that's their choice. It's not the sheriff's choice, it never will be the sheriff's choice. So to ask me to become, sort of, a relief pitcher and come in and become a county board member for a weekend doesn't really work for me on a lot of levels.

Dart says his office would not be able to withstand the extreme cuts officials are predicting. Officials say the county would lose $300-million from the sales tax rollback.


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