Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions


  Office phone numbers:  

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.


The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.

County weighs sales tax hike, to 9%
Idea is one of several proposals to plug deficit of $100 million

Tuesday, October 28, 2003
Chicago Sun-Times

The sales tax in Chicago would jump to 9 percent under a proposal being considered by Cook County officials to plug a projected $100 million deficit.

The quarter-percentage-point boost in the Cook County sales tax would put Chicago on par with New Orleans as one to the top two major cities with a 9 percent sales tax rate.  Parts of Alabama have sales tax rates of 11 percent, but no other cities of Chicago’s stature have a 9 percent rate. 

The sales tax is just one of several ideas county officials have floated over the past few weeks, including a hotel-motel fax and a tax on leased vehicles and computers.  It was not clear Monday whether the tax hike would make it into the final budget proposal to be presented Thursday.

In past years, Board President John Stroger commanded enough votes on his board to fend off amendments to his budget.  But the election last year of five new commissioners makes it unclear if Stroger has nine votes necessary to pass the sales tax hike if that is included in the budget.

Promising to make the administration justify every line item and force reforms in the light of the fatal fire in the county administration building, Commissioner Larry Suffredin, a Democrat from Evanston, said: “I am prepared to go through every job slot--I hope they’re prepared to sit here for the next month—ther’s going to be money to sprinkle every building, pressurize every stairwell.  It’s going to be tedious to go through, but we’re going to do it.”

Commissioner Greg Goslin, a Republican from Glenview, opposes the sales tax increase.

“It will be disproportionately felt by the poorest of our citizens,” Goslin said.  “The question is: Are there nine votes to pass it?  I think there’s $100 million of expenses that can be cut from various places.”

If all five Republicans and four opposition-bloc Democrats oppose the tax hike, it loses.

“The sales and lease tax I think we can live with,” said Commissioner Bobbie Steele, a Chciago Democrat.  “It has been projected to get us enough money to get through 2004.” 

The Cook County rate is currently .75 percent, and would increase to 1 percent.  The county gets only 75 cents for every $100 spent in Chicago.  The state of Illinois gets $6.25.  The city of Chicago gets $1.  The RTA gets 75 cents.  The county uses its money to guard prisoners at the Cook County Jail, prosecute criminals and run the county hospital and health clinics.

Some suburbs have no sales tax.  Others, like Rosemont and Stone Park, have sales tax rates higher than Chicago’s.  Indiana has a statewide 6 percent sales tax.

Stroger says in his three terms he has cut positions, trimmed fat, and helped acquire a higher than ever bond rating.  But critics say plenty of cronies still bloat the county payroll.

“We’d hope he would be looking at reducing employment and cutting operational costs before they went to taxpayers looking for more money,” said Laurence Msall of the Civic Federation of Chicago.  Msall credited Stroger with doing a better job cutting his staff than other elected county officials over the past several years.

“Cook County government is legendary for its waste and bloat and I think the first priority has to be spending cuts, not tax increases,” said Commissioner Forrest Claypool, a Chicago Democrat.


Recent Headlines

Third annual FPCC photo contest
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Special to

Cook County offers back-to-school health checklist
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cook County Inspector General wins round over Berrios on subpoena
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health weighs $70M contract to coordinate patient care
Monday, August 25, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

Buck of the Week: Unplugged in Cook County
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Illinois exchange on 3 additional insurers' radar for 2015
Friday, August 22, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health eyes new call center, more nurses to better compete for patients
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

Obamacare money boost helps Cook County hospitals budget next year
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health puts brakes on plan to sell HMO on Obamacare exchange
Friday, August 15, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

City home values only glimmer in bleak Cook property value report
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Trends in Estimated Full Value of Real Estate in Cook County
Thursday, August 14, 2014
The Civic Federation

Forest Preserves of Cook County Offers Wilderness Camping Opportunities for Families
Monday, August 11, 2014
Special to

Court: Bears owe Cook County $4.1 million in ticket taxes
Thursday, August 07, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

3-week closures announced for Crawford repaving
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Skokie Review

Appeals court rules against Preckwinkle tax on business
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Panel: Cook Co. use tax violates state law
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

County awards $680K to groups working to curb recidivism
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Inmates signing up for Obamacare: Dart
Monday, August 04, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Property tax bills rise at Cook County's biggest buildings
Monday, August 04, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

9,000 Cook County Jail Inmates Enroll in Obamacare Amid Mental Health Crisis
Monday, August 04, 2014
5 NBC Chicago

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.