As Cook County Board President John Stroger tried to secure the last vote needed to pass his budget today, his aides acknowledged that a delay in the vote was a possibility.
Stroger, who is proposing a .25 percentage-point increase in the sales tax and a new 4 percent lease tax has eight votes lined up, but needs a ninth to pass it. The key swing votes are commissioners Earlean Collins and Robert Maldonado, both Chicago Democrats. Maldonado said Monday he was undecided but said he had big problems with the lease tax.
"I don't know how I'm going to vote. It's too fluid," he said.
Collins could not be reached for comment.
Stroger aide John Gibson said the president was "talking with everybody" Monday, but opposition Commissioner Larry Suffredin, an Evanston Democrat, said he hadn't heard from the president's office despite overtures he offered for a compromise.
John P. Daley, Stroger's key ally on the board, said he hoped the two sides would reach an agreement. He also expressed optimism in an alternative involving a cigarette tax instead of a lease tax. Many business leaders have been opposed to the lease tax.
Mount Prospect's Carl Hansen, a Republican commissioner, is against all of Stroger's new taxes but is leery of service cuts that might be required by the 2 percent cut Suffredin and other commissioners have proposed.
The county board meets today at 10 a.m. on the fifth floor of the county building, 118 N. Clark St.
If today's vote is delayed, it is not clear when it will be taken up again.