Exclusive: Stroger Vetoes Sales Tax Cut
Friday, July 24, 2009
Fox News Chicago
by Jeff Goldblatt
Chicago, IL - Cook County Board President Todd Stroger late Thursday
night vetoed the County Board's decision earlier this week to cut the
county's portion of the sales tax by a half a penny on Jan. 1. At the
same time, he is ordering department heads to prepare drastic cost
cutting measures, in the face of what could be a major budget showdown
in the coming weeks.
The Board voted July 21 to cut that new
revenue by half, and required that the County Budget for Fiscal Year
2010 be based on the actual revenue received in Fiscal Year 2009, with
no further increase in taxes. But the County will not have a record of
actual 2009 revenues until the end of the first quarter of the 2010
"We cannot hold our budget process hostage to
revenue reports that we won't have in hand until after January of next
year," Stroger said in a press release Friday. "Furthermore, the Board
has failed to take into account cuts we expect to the County revenue
stream in the wake of the passage of the State of Illinois budget - and
those cuts could be significant."
Sources tell Fox Chicago News
a veto override isn't guaranteed despite what some Cook County Board
Members forecasted earlier this week.
According to the release:
besides expected reductions in State funding for County related grants
and core programs, County revenue is also expected to be negatively
impacted by the operational costs of funding self-insurance, the
County's need to pay it's 2007 pension obligation, the needs of the
Health and Public Safety and Criminal Justice Systems, and funding
required for statutory and court related mandates.
about the depth of cuts that would whack social-service programs if the
tax rollback were enacted, there has been a significant backlash of
public opinion among residents living in the West Side and South Side
of Cook County. Sources say that several Commissioners may be
re-thinking their initial support of the rollback.
may be intensified by Stroger's move to ask his department heads to
prepare three different budgets, in the event that his veto is
overridden. One of those budgets would include a 19 percent cut. It's
possible this news is designed to place more pressure on some
commissioners who are wavering on the sales tax rollback.
votes of 14 out of 17 Board Members are needed for an override. The
next Board meeting is scheduled for Sept. 1. And so, it is likely
Commissioners will face a barrage of overt and behind-the-scenes
pressure, until that time, to either support the Stroger veto and to
align against it.