The newspapers voted Commissioner Murphy the most confused on this issue, because she changed her mind so many times. I personally think she is always confused. Commissioner Murphy has District 6 which borders the next county, maybe her businesses put pressure on her? Murphy must get calls and emails daily from her businesses that see their customers drive accross the nearby border to do business, maybe that's why she changed her mind again.
Commissioner Sims on the other hand, who I knew would vote along Stroger lines gave me no surprise. Sims claims she has no businesses in her district (5) but she forgets that she needs to keep whatever businesses she has, and to encourage new businesses. Sims also forgets she has constituents that pay taxes. I would give Sims the runner up award for most confused.
Commissioner Moreno voted with Stroger on this one. I can't figure out why, he has a lot of businesses in his area. He also has a nice tourist destination, China Town. I don't know what he is thinking. Honestly, I can't figure out what is up with Moreno, his district is right next to mine, and it is full of businesses, many I frequent. I am still surprised on this one.
Commissioner Steele voted "Present", maybe because he will have to win his district on his own next election. As you recall, his Mom, Bobbie Steele, who was Commissioner Steele, had district 2, and Robert was annointed this post from her. This district includes Hyde Park, University of Chicago, well, President Obama's area, which is full of businesses. What a chicken out vote that helps Stroger out.
Commissioner Collins, in a district (1) full of business and constituents voted "Present". I know she said she wanted more time to go over everything, and to figure out where revenue would come from to replace the tax. But this could cost her votes the next election.
I was not surprised that Todd Stroger's biggest ally, Bill Beavers voted with him, he is part of the South Side boys club, along with Jerry Butler. I wonder if Joseph Moreno is going to join the South Side boys fan club of Todd's?
Todd Stroger has tax problems everywhere he goes, at home, and on the job. Todd said his cousin Donna Dunnings was so good with finances when he hired her, why didn't he consult with her on his personal taxes? Or did he? If he did not consult his cousin Donna, he certainly is making enough money to hire an accountant. If he can't take care of his personal taxes, how are we to trust him with the tax issues of Cook County?
Todd Stroger has personal tax issues
As he takes political heat for blocking a push to lower county sales taxes, Cook County Board President Todd Stroger is in hot water for a more personal tax issue:
He owes Uncle Sam nearly $12,000 for unpaid income taxes, recently filed records show.
The Internal Revenue Service slapped a $11,668.10 lien on Stroger and his wife earlier this year. The Strogers have yet to fully pay that debt, meaning the federal government could hold up a sale of the Strogers' house or other property if payment terms aren't reached.
Gene Mullins, a Stroger spokesman, told the Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday night that Stroger and his wife already have made plans to pay the tax man.
But Mullins couldn't provide details beyond that, including how the Strogers let the situation get to the point where the IRS determined it needed to hold their feet to the fire by filing the income-tax lien with the Cook County recorder of deeds.
"It's a bill that him and his wife have made arrangements with the IRS on," Mullins said. "They made arrangements with them, and they're paying it off right now. They worked out a payment plan with the IRS."
The IRS refuses to discuss individual tax cases. Agency officials have yet to file a public notice -- called a "release" -- that shows they're satisfied that the Strogers have paid or are repaying the debt.
The $11,668.10 in the lien stems from the Strogers' 2007 income tax return. It reflects what the IRS claims Stroger and his wife, Jeanine, owed the federal government as of May 19, 2008, including any monetary penalties.
The IRS filed its lien on the Strogers' property -- including their home on South Blackstone -- about nine months after coming up with the $11,668.10 figure. The lien was signed March 12 and filed at the recorder's office March 23.
Typically, the IRS contacts taxpayers so they can dispute its findings or work out payment terms before filing liens, said a nationally known tax expert who went over the fine print of the Strogers' lien with the Sun-Times.
"You could surmise there were several attempts on the part of the IRS to get him to pay -- or at least make a payment arrangement -- and he either did not respond, or, to the extent he did respond, he responded in a way that was insufficient or uncooperative," said Julian Block, a tax lawyer, author and former Chicago IRS revenue officer who now lives in New York.
Together, the Strogers made at least $226,000 in 2007: Todd Stroger pulled in $170,000 as County Board president and Jeanine Stroger made $56,700 as Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White's equal-employment opportunity officer, according to county and state payroll records.
The lien names an IRS "small business/self-employed area" as being involved with the Strogers' tax debt, meaning the overdue taxes might stem from other income earned by the couple.
The Sun-Times' disclosure of the lien comes as Stroger faces increasing criticism for vetoing a repeal of his controversial increase in the county's sales tax rate. Stroger says a full repeal of the penny-on-the-dollar increase is irresponsible in light of county health care needs, among other things.
Todd at Provident Hospital
Cook County Board President Todd Stroger came out swinging Tuesday, saying he blocked the repeal of a sales tax increase to save the county health care system, which caters to a growing number of uninsured patients.
At Provident Hospital on the South Side on Tuesday, he defended his veto of legislation to roll back the tax increase and blasted County Board members for using the giveback as a political ploy
Labels: Todd Stroger
Everyone knew he would veto this because this is his bright idea, the sales tax increase. Commissioner Liz Gorman complains that much of her district borders other counties, and the businesses in her district have been hurt financially more than others. I am sure part has to do with the economy getting worse during the sales tax increase, but when people live on a border and don't have to go out of their way much to save money, they are going to do it.
Yes, it takes 14 of 17 Commissioners to override the veto. Something that is a long shot. He has the South Side guys on his side for sure, Butler, Beavers and Steele. I am quite sure Sims will go along with Todd. So there you have it. No override.
On Monday, Cook County Board President Todd Stroger vetoed the decision by commissioners to repeal the one percentage point increase.
But commissioners aren't giving up.
Now they're trying to come up with enough votes to override Stroger.
County commissioners ABC7 spoke with say although they're disappointed by the veto, this is far from over. If they can get just two of the five commissioners who did not vote with them last week to come to their side, they can override the veto. And they say it is possible because two commissioners weren't even present for last week's vote.
"I hope we can override this veto next Tuesday at the meeting, and if we can't then I will fight to have this phase-out be faster than he's projecting," said Larry Suffredin, (D) Cook County Commissioner.
Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin made a vow to fight on Monday night.
His vow came after county president Todd Stroger used his veto power to block the repeal of a controversial sales tax increase that gave Cook County one of the highest tax rates in the nation.
In an exclusive interview with ABC7 political reporter Charles Thomas, Stroger said repealing the entire tax increase now would really mean dismantling the county's health system, including closing one of the major hospitals, Provident or Oak Forest.
"We know that more people need our services and that if we pull back now there will just be a lot of people without any healthcare whatsoever," said Todd Stroger, Cook Co. Board president.
But on Monday night, Republican Commissioner Tony Peraica says that is simply not true and Todd Stroger knows it.
"They are now coming out with scare tactics saying the hospitals are going to close, the clinics are going to close, prisoners are going to be walking the streets...these are just lies&lies to justify the unjustifiable," said Tony Peraica, (R) Cook County commissioner.
Peraica was one of several sponsors in favor of repealing the entire 1 percent sales tax increase right now. If they're unable to get two more votes to override the veto, there is another plan already in the works. It would roll back a quarter of a percent every year for the next four years.
Larry Sufferdin is one of the sponsors.
"It at this time has become the symbol of bad government and it has become the symbol of bad economic policy for Cook County," said Sufferdin.
At least part of Larry Suffredin's plan is something Todd stroger could support. He has said that he supports a roll back of a quarter of 1 percent. But Stroger says anything more than that would depend on the economy improving.
Next Tuesday's vote should be very interesting
Stroger accused the commissioners who engineered the roll-back vote of having no plan to replace the revenue that would have been lost and said the vote was "a political effort really to try to embarrass me."
Stroger appeared confident he could find one more commissioner to join the three who supported him last week by opposing the tax repeal.
"I don't think the votes are there to override the veto," Stroger said on WVON.
Stroger declared last week he would veto the repeal after county commissioners surprised him by approving it on a 12-3 vote that included support from four commissioners who had voted to increase the tax last year.
It takes an extraordinary 14 of 17 county commissioners to override a veto, a threshold repeal supporters said they were unlikely to meet.
In his press release, Stroger accused the board of pandering to voters ahead of the 2010 elections.
"Someone has to show leadership," Stroger said in the statement. "I will not jeopardize the well-being of County residents by allowing this faction of commissioners to end funding for vital services and destroy our health and public safety operations. There is too much at stake -- for residents who desperately need these services, and for residents who deserve a government that is responsibly funded."
Stroger said rolling back the penny-on-a-dollar sales tax increase would have resulted in closing at least one of the county's three hospitals, as well as some health clinics.
None of the elected county officials had advised Stroger to use his veto.
State's Atty. Anita Alvarez, Sheriff Tom Dart and Assessor Jim Houlihan all said last week that it's the job of Stroger and the County Board to properly fund county government. Treasurer Maria Pappas said she could live with cuts if the tax were repealed.
Even Mayor Richard Daley weighed in, saying Stroger should let the repeal go through. Daley's brother, County Finance Committee Chairman John Daley (D-Chicago), who once supported the tax hike but voted to repeal it, also said Stroger should not use his veto.
Todd Stroger is making headlines, and I hate to say it but I would rather have Todd Stroger in the headlines over Drew Peterson. The Capital Fax blog has kept away from the subject of the later, mostly because he has made himself so tabloid, and they keeping up their reputation as reputable news, also since Nancy Grace beats the Drew thing to death frequently and often.
Back to a real story, yes Earlean Collins needs more time to analyze her vote, whe has always been the one to say, "stop" "this needs more review" "there are more questions that need to be answered", yes the county needs someone like her on their board, too frequently they want to pass on something to get it off their desks.
Todd Strogers decision todayCook County Board President Todd Stroger is on deadline today.
At issue is whether he will, as promised, veto legislation repealing the sales tax hike he pushed for last year.
Or will he just let the rollback happen by doing nothing at the close of business today.
Stroger has made it perfectly clear that if he lets the repeal remain, the commissioners will have to deal with the budget crisis -- which includes cuts not only in health care but also in public safety.
And with an election less than a year away, some sources believe, he'll do just that.
"The black community will suffer from the cuts to the hospital and the criminal justice system -- that's part of the strategy, force the issue on to the commissioners by cutting the Bureau of Health budget," which is the bulk of the county's $3 billion-plus budget, said a source who spoke to Stroger's aides last week. The thinking is that the cuts would hurt the commissioners as they, too, gear up for elections.
"Of course, they're trying desperately to reverse the bad press he's gotten," the source said.
For his part, Stroger said delaying his decision on the tax repeal until today's deadline -- rather than vetoing the measure immediately as he said he would -- has nothing to do with next year's election.
But he's been coy about what he'll do.
"I'm not sure," Stroger said Friday, when asked whether he was leaning one way or the other. He's already said it might be futile to veto the measure if enough votes are lined up to override his decision. "We'll find out. . . . I think a little drama is good for the soul," he said with a chuckle.
It was a different tone from Tuesday, when Stroger lashed out at commissioners who voted to roll back the 1.75 percent sales tax to .75 percent, saying that losing the penny-on-the-dollar tax would shutter Provident Hospital and health clinics for the poor.
Stroger says he's working until today's deadline to get feedback from elected leaders in county government.
But last week's 12-3 commission vote (with two absent) in favor of the repeal speaks for itself, several commissioners have said. And representatives of the Cook County assessor and state's attorney's office said the budget and related spending decisions are the responsibility of the president and the commissioners.
It's been a tough week or so for Stroger politically. A hiring scandal involving a busboy-turned-$61,000-a-year county highway worker snowballed when it was revealed then county Chief Financial Officer Donna Dunnings bailed the worker, Tony Cole, out of jail twice, ultimately costing both their jobs.
And now the drumbeat is growing louder that powerful County Board Finance Chair John Daley and his brother, Mayor Daley, are distancing themselves from Stroger -- even saying they don't know whom they'll vote for in the 2010 county board president's race.
Who'd step in if Dems purge Burris, Stroger?
If Illinois Democrats succeed in purging politically radioactive Sen. Roland Burris and Cook County Board President Todd Stroger from the party's ticket, what fresh new African-American faces can they recruit to attract African-American voters to the polls?
Secretary of State Jesse White, 74, is the only statewide African-American officeholder other than Burris, and White is facing an easy re-election. If African-Americans go from having a senator and County Board presidency to just White, that could provoke a backlash, some party leaders warn.
"I think because of the sheer numbers, having a candidate that appeals to the African-American voting base is going to be very important to the Democratic Party," said Larry Rogers, an attorney who serves on the Cook County Board of Review. Rogers said he has been approached by people who would like him to run for Cook County Board president, which he said he would consider only if Stroger opts not to run for re-election; and also by people who would like him to run for attorney general, should Lisa Madigan run for governor rather than seek re-election.
One of those encouraging Rogers is state Sen. James Meeks, himself considering a run for governor if Gov. Quinn and/or Lisa Madigan do not meet his challenge to run on a platform of adequately funding education in Illinois.
Meeks argues that Jesse White's presence alone on the statewide ticket will not be enough to motivate the black electorate. Meeks made the same threat four years ago but backed down when then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich promised to increase education funding, a promise, Meeks notes, that never came to fruition.
Riverside? Yep shots fired in Riverside, and the perpetrator did not even make sure they had a quite getaway vehicle. You would have thought someone would have called the police with and older vehicle needing a muffler loose in Riverside? Yep, Riverside also hometown to Judy Baar Topinka.
Todd Stroger who was the 8Th Ward Alderman under Mayor Daley did not hold back on letting everyone know about Daley's tax increases? How many did the Toddler vote for as he sat for Alderman?
The only support the Toddler now has is from the South Side guys Club, that being Commissioners Beavers, Steele, and Butler.
~~and a small note, since way too much media attention has been brought on by this individual most of it by his own promoting.
Glad they got Drew Peterson in jail. I only hope he will be there a while. Since he was a cop for almost 30 years, and well paid obviously by reports of him receiving an almost $7K a month pension, he may know how to cover up a crime. Rather get away with murder, at least once if not twice.
I am sure he has done everything he can to taint the potential jury pool, all his self promotion. Who knows maybe he is also a folk hero to guys seeing this old fart get so many young chics for girlfriends?
Was Peraica's Home Target Of Gunfire?
Shots Hit Front Of County Commissioner's Neighbor's Riverside and Peraica
A gunman fired shots at Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica's neighbor's house in west suburban Riverside, and his assistants say they believe Peraica's house was the intended target.
At about 4:11 a.m. Wednesday, Riverside police responded to a residence in the 300 block of Scottswood Road, after an unknown person or persons fired seven bullets at the residence.
Police had earlier received two reports of possible gunshots fired in the area around 3 a.m.
Peraica (R-16th) told CBS 2 that around 3 a.m. Wednesday, he heard gunfire and got up to look out, but didn't see anything. "A loud popping sound woke me up, several in rapid succession. I got up and looked out but didn't see anything. I figured it was just kids in the nature preserve."
President Todd Stroger found himself politically isolated Wednesday as he rethought his pledge to block the repeal of an unpopular sales-tax increase.
Hours after Stroger said he may have too hastily vowed to veto the tax rollback, which commissioners approved a day earlier, Mayor Richard Daley called last year's 1-percentage-point tax increase "very questionable" and repealing it "something that I think they had to do."
The mayor's brother, county Finance Committee Chairman John Daley (D-Chicago), voted Tuesday to repeal the tax increase he once supported and said he did not know if Stroger would have his backing should he run for re-election next year.
Stroger did little to avoid a rift with the Daleys.
"Well, you know, the mayor passed nine taxes in two years," Stroger said. "Let's see you write about that, and then I'll talk to you about everything else."
Daley's last two budgets, which are twice as large as the county's spending plans, raised taxes and fees by more than $320 million a year. The county's sales-tax increase was expected to generate $426 million a year.