Not that the budget meeting was going well to begin with but The Toddler and Commissioner Mik Quigley really got into a back and forth heated argument. Last budget when his happened they appologized to each other by sending each other flowers. Still no word on a floral delivery to either one yet. Will it be yellow roses again this year?
Stroger insists on bigger sales tax hike
February 29, 2008
By Steve Patterson, Sun-Times News Group
Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has the votes he needs to raise the county sales tax to 1.5 percent and help balance the county budget.
But he's rejecting it because he wants an even higher sales tax increase that will prevent him from having to ask taxpayers for more funds in 2009 and 2010 - when he's up for re-election.
That rejection surprised commissioners Thursday as they instead went into the night slicing and dicing the budget in hopes of filling a projected $226 million deficit. They have until midnight tonight to reach a compromise or risk a shutdown of county government.
Stroger on Thursday was unwilling to budge from his demand that the sales tax be raised from .75 percent to 2 percent, which would give the county roughly $800 million more each year - far more than is needed to balance the budget. Stroger has eight votes in support of the bigger tax hike but has been unable to secure a needed ninth vote.
But Commissioner Larry Suffredin (D-Evanston) agreed to provide Stroger with a swing vote to double the sales tax from .75 percent to 1.5 percent. That would bring the county about $300 million more a year.
But with commissioners waiting so long to approve a tax increase, it wouldn't take effect until November - meaning the county only could collect about $53 million this year.
So Suffredin and other commissioners proposed eliminating some of the jobs Stroger wants to add to the budget as well as cutting back on overtime and consultants to help make ends meet until the county can collect a full year of the greater sales tax revenue. But the board rejected those cuts.