CHICAGO SALES TAX - Highest in U.S. Effective July 1, 2008

Real Estate Agent with Dean's Team - Keller Williams Realty Partners Chicago IL

Last-minute maneuvering by the Cook County Board last night prevented major budget cuts in county services and health care in the county that includes the City of Chicago.  But the cost to consumers across the county, and here in Chicago, was steep.

As a compromise to Cook County Board of Commissioners Todd Stroger's five-month-old proposal to increase the county share of the State of Illinois Sales Tax to 2.75%, the Board voted 9 to 7 to increase the county's tax share to 1.75%, up 133% from it's current level of 0.75%.   The tax increase takes effect July 1.

Suburban Cook County Consumers will see their sales tax on non-food items increase to a minimum of 9.0%, from the current rates starting at 7.5% in most suburban Chicago municipalities.  (The State of Illinois, in January, approved a separate 0.5% increase in the state's share of the sales tax, to fund mass transit, and the Chicago Transit Authority, in and around Chicago).

Here in the City of Chicago, however, the Chicago Sales Tax will total 10.25%- the highest of any major city in the country, substantially exceeding sales taxes in Los Angeles and New York City.

The tax increase program approved last night by the Cook County Board preceded a state-mandated midnight deadline.  If no county budget and funding program were approved by last night, state courts would have had to order continuation of emergency and health care related programs throughout the county.

Also included was a doubling of the tax for those with monthly parking arrangements in public garages throughout the county (but mainly impacting monthly parkers in Downtown Chicago).  Stroger's earlier proposal to double the county's share of it's 6 cent per gallon gasoline tax - highest in the U.S. - was dropped.

The tax increases approved will generate $456 Million in additional revenue each year for Cook County.  The Board also agreed to cut its budget this year - originally proposed for $3.3 Billion - by 4% overall.  There will be no cuts in the Cook County Health Care System.  Taken with with the approved tax increases, the budget cuts would eliminate a $234 Million projected budget deficit for the county fiscal year that began last December 1.

County Commissioner Larry Suffredin (D-Evanston), who provided the critical swing vote in passage of the tax increase proposals,  scoffed at concerns by critics that the tax increases will drive business away from Cook County and Chicago.  "I've heard them say that for 30 years, and I look downtown and I only see cranes," Suffredin said.

Please visit our Team Blog Center - for more on this story, as well as a link to Hal Dardick's article in today's edition of The Chicago Tribune.



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Daniel J. Brudnok, REALTOR
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS - Exton - PA License Number #RS225179L - Downingtown, PA


That's crazy...I am sure there are some corporate "sweetheart" incentives in the works before they would ok this for the average joe.

Mar 01, 2008 03:13 AM #1
Laura Karambelas
Baird & Warner Downers Grove - Downers Grove, IL
Realtor - Downers Grove
Dean- I grew up in the city and many of my family members still live there because they are on the Chicago Police Dept..  Many of them come to shop by my house, DuPage county because of the taxes.  I also saw where they raise the transfer stamps to buyers, crazy.  It's a shame because the city is such a great place to live, shop, eat, etc. that with the higher taxes people are going to go do those things elsewhere.
Mar 01, 2008 03:28 AM #2
Irina Netchaev
Pasadena Views Real Estate Team, Inc. - Pasadena, CA
Pasadena CA Real Estate
Wow... that is pretty steep!  We have 8.25 in Los Angeles county.
Mar 01, 2008 08:33 AM #3
Dean Moss
Dean's Team - Keller Williams Realty Partners Chicago IL - Chicago, IL
Dean's Team Chicago IL Real Estate Team

Correction By The Editor -

It seems I was in error on the effective date of the new Sales Tax Increase in Cook County.  It actually took effect YESTERDAY, July 1st, 2008.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news! (Unless you're on the Cook County Board in IL, or a County Patronage Worker - then, in a twisted sort of way, it's GOOD news).

Click for yesterday's link to the Chicago Tribune Story for more info and video on the Sales Tax Increase in Cook County.

Come visit our Team in Chicago, anytime - but, please, bring enough money!


Jul 02, 2008 08:10 AM #4
James Simmons
RE/MAX Greater Princeton - West Windsor, NJ

WOW that is unbelievable. How do these politicians think they are entitled to 10% or more of every purchase you make? What a shame.

Jul 02, 2008 08:31 AM #5

I live in cook county but I boarder DuPage.  My wife and I actively shop outside of Cook County.  We drive to DuPage to get gas.  Even though the tax increase doesn't affect car purchases, I registered my car where I work in central Illinois.  I am doing everything I can to not give cook county any more of my money.  It's too much and when will it end?  Gas prices are out of this world.  My real estate taxes continue to rise disproportionately to income.  Now the sales tax is the highest in the country.  The answer cannot be to continually increase taxes.  50 years from now will we be paying 15% or 20% sales tax?  So no matter how much you make you will never get ahead because the government will just keep taking more and more.

Aug 27, 2008 02:13 AM #6
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