Rumor has it that Lance Tyson, the Toddlers Chief of staff got an attitude with Maldonado, and he was the deciding vote, well until Lance came along
Cook County commissioners postponed a vote on a proposed sales tax today after decided they didn't have enough support to pass it.
The County Board may take up the issue again Oct. 16.
Dozens of witnesses offered their opinions on the issue at a public hearing that stretched for several hours.
Maldonado talks about tax increase Photo
Sales tax hike vote postponed Video
More than 100 people were on a sign-up list to testify. Many union members who are county workers, as well as county doctors, told the board the county health system needs new revenue and cannot survive further cuts like the ones made earlier this year.
Business groups and restaurant owners came out strongly in opposition to a sales tax increase, saying it would damage the local economy.
While the testimony was going on, County Board members on both sides of the issue were trying to count votes on the 17-member board, which was meeting first as the Finance Committee. Board President Todd Stroger had called a special meeting of the County Board to convene immediately after the Finance Committee to take up the tax increase if it passes.
Commissioner Joan Murphy (D-Crestwood), who sponsored the plan to raise the county portion of the local sales tax from 0.75 percent to 2.75 percent, had said she would not call for a vote today if the support is not there. But some opponents were hoping to force a vote to reject the tax increase.
Commissioner Roberto Maldonado—a potential swing vote—said today that he would not support any sales tax increase, accusing the Stroger administration of trying to strong-arm him to vote in favor of it. The board is sharply divided on the proposal, and any vote is expected to be close.
If approved, the combined rate for the sales tax in the city of Chicago would jump to 11 percent, among the highest in the nation.
An increase to 2.75 percent would generate an extra $750 million a year for the county. Stroger is looking to close a projected deficit of $307 million for the 2008 budget year, which begins Dec. 1. Opponents of the tax plan have criticized Stroger for advocating a tax increase even before releasing his proposed budget, which he has said he will do this month.