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  Last year more people used the County's forest preserves than visited Yellowstone National Park.

Chance to stop tax hikes

Monday, December 08, 2003
Chicago Sun-Times
Letter to the Editor

For the first time in perhaps 70 years, the citizens of Cook County have the opportunity to stop a budget laden with tax increases in its tracks. There is now a clear choice between a Stroger budget plan that imposes a new 4 percent lease/rental tax and a 0.25 percent increase in the sales tax, and a 2 percent budget reduction plan, aka ''The Tax Relief and Waste Reduction Act of 2003.'' The County Board's vote is scheduled for Tuesday.

Any citizen who believes the Stroger administration's argument that a 2 percent reduction in a $3 billion county budget will cause the loss of 3,300 jobs is being had. The county government, as we all know, is not and never has been a lean, mean, efficient governmental machine. In fact, many departments have become bloated, lazy and totally unchecked in their ''appropriate/tax/spend'' habits, showing no regard for taxpayers, economic climate or fiscal responsibility.

Now, it's the voters' turn. The opposition bloc has eight firm ''no'' votes in opposition to the Stroger tax and spend plan (Silvestri, Hansen, Gorman, Goslin, Peraica, Claypool, Quigley and Suffredin). We are in search of a ninth brave soul on the County Board. Won't you help us? Here is your chance to impact the process and the outcome that will have a direct impact on your pocketbook.

Call your commissioner at (312) 603-6398 and tell him or her how you feel about yet another tax increase. See you in the County Board Room on Tuesday.

Tony Peraica,
Cook County commissioner
(16th District-Riverside)

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