In Chicago, and Cook County IL - Sales Tax Rollback Becomes Likely!

Reblogger Lenn Harley
Real Estate Agent with Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate 303829;0225082372

THIS IS A CLASSIC EXAMPLE of how local/city/county/state and yes/ federal officials see their budgets. 

If there is a shorfall, raise the revenue. 

Can the average family to that??  Can the worker walk into their employers office and raise their income to pay for the increase in their mortgage payment??

No indeed.  They would reduce their family expenses to cover the higher mortgage payment or tax payment . . . . .

It's time for local/city/county/state and yes, federal officials to do the same.

Read Dean's post about this matter in Chicago.


Original content by Dean Moss

In these tough times economically, cities and counties across the U.S. are searching for new ways to bridge revenue gaps that often run into the millions of dollars.

And how do County Officials and Mayors across the country deal with the revenue shortfall?

Likely, you guessed it right away!  Typically . . . THEY INCREASE TAXES IN THEIR JURISDICTIONS!

That happened in Cook County IL - the county that includes the City of Chicago.  Last year,  the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted overwhelmingly to increase the Cook County General Sales Tax to as high as 10.25% within Chicago.  That's the highest stipend of any big city across the country.

County officials predicted complacent acceptance.  Resignation.  No drop off in tax revenues - in fact, a hoped for revenue INCREASE, county wide.

But they didn't get that!

Instead, there was talk of the perimeter suburbs of Chicago of seceding from Cook County.  Or, in this tough economy, seeking out merchants just over the Cook County line, in neighboring Indiana or Wisconsin, or buying more over the Internet, in hopes of minimizing our already-high sales tax bite.

And this week, 12 of the 17 members of the Cook County Board apparently had enough.  As reported by Dan P. Blake in The Chicago Tribune, the commissioners voted to scale back the June, 2008 10.25% tax enactment to 9.75%.

The matter is not settled, however!

Embattled Cook County Board President Todd Stroger, already under a county wide microscope for alleged inappropriate hiring and wasteful spending, promises to veto the tax rollback.  According to County Law, he has six days to do so - and likely will!

And although Cook County Statutes make it difficult for the Board to overturn President Stroger's veto - Board Rules call for an 80% approval to overturn a Board President veto - a preliminary count indicates the board will  have the needed 14 of 17 votes required to get the tax brought down.

Stroger supporters fear Cook County could lose up to $140 Million in revenue if the Cook County Sales Tax is reduced from current levels.  Cook County Health Department spokespeople predict $85 Million in cuts if the tax is dropped.

But most agree the current county budget does contain some "fat" needing to be trimmed - and all will be well if the Cook County Sales Tax is rolled back.

And President Stroger has another looming problem.  The President is expected to face several pro-lower-tax Democratic challengers when he runs for re-election in 2010.

See our post this evening via



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Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR

Thank you Lenn and Dean for bringing this story to us.  I know this story will be repeated across the country for many years to come.  The politicians did not save or wisely budget when times were good.  They planned on unrealistic and unsustainable future growth.  For their stupidity alone, they should be voted out of office.

Jul 24, 2009 01:43 AM #1
Sam DeBord -Coldwell Banker Danforth - Seattle, WA
Seattle Real Estate Broker

Love your style, Lenn.  To the point, no nonsense.  Keep spreading the common sense.

Jul 24, 2009 06:58 AM #2
Marilyn Harrell
ReMax Riverhaven - Beaverton, MI
Wixom Lake - Beaverton MI

I have been wondering when the government is finally going to realize that as more and more of us lose our jobs, employers will be paying the governement less and less in regards to payroll taxes - how will they deal with the large decrease !! I don't think they see it coming, how can you see anything when your head is

in the sand ???

Jul 24, 2009 07:19 AM #3
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland


They losing on property tax income falling too.  Many have slipped in higher tax rates as assessment come down.

The last thing they want to do is reduce expenses.


Jul 24, 2009 07:28 AM #4
Diane Aurit
LKN Realty, LLC - Mooresville, NC
Lake Norman Real Estate

Interesting posts.  I look at my former home state of California and wonder what in the heck they are going to do to get out of the mess they are in...we don't have such issues in smaller towns like Mooresville NC.  Glad I moved!  It was great fun chatting too!

Jul 24, 2009 09:47 AM #5
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Diane.  The depths to which CA residents have permitted their economy to fall is astounding. 

Nice chatting with you too.  Good luck with your new adventure.

Jul 24, 2009 12:40 PM #6
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

I've preached budget to my elected officials for so long and used many of the same arguments that you use. They have just had it to good for to long Lenn!

Jul 24, 2009 01:30 PM #7
Toronto, ON

I don't recall ever seeing a combined sales tax rate in any state, county, city or district in the USA as high as 10.25%.

Jul 24, 2009 02:27 PM #8
Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

I dont know that there will will ever be a stop to wasteful spending by our elected officials unfortunately. Not unless the masses get involved in supervising the budgets - and that wont happen.

... so much wasted cash ...

Jul 24, 2009 02:52 PM #9
Terry & Bonnie Westbrook
Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner - Grand Rapids, MI
Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re

At some point the governments at all levels have to get the message that they have to live with in the budget of funds available and they can't just increase taxes.

Jul 24, 2009 03:32 PM #10
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Paul.  Indeed.  It is their constitutants who need to lean on them as do you.  Congratulations for that.  I can honestly say that I have never, never, never voted for any additional bond issue or expenditure or expansion of the city/county or state budget.  Never and I probably never will.

These spending bills get approved by voters routinely.  Usually, they are very cleverly written so that a NO vote oftens mean YES. 

Marc.  I have and you will too.  I published the list recently.  I'll find it an pulbish it again.

Sheldon.  Don't hold your breath, but some are getting the message.  Losing one's home is one thing that will make the "masses" take a look.

Terry.  Better yet, they need to trim their budgets as have the consumers and home owners.





Jul 24, 2009 10:11 PM #11
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Until the voters revolt by throwing the rascals out of office and letting the next guy know that this is not going to will be the same thing.

Jul 25, 2009 01:30 AM #12
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Gary. I wish it were that easy.  Sadly, the power of the encumbancy is awesome.


Jul 25, 2009 09:49 AM #13
Jim Hale
Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website

Local officials often go for "replacement" revenue simply because they are so beholden to the union employees of their own jurisdiction.  They feel they have no choice.

We do have a choice though...when the right person runs.

Jul 25, 2009 04:48 PM #14
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Jim.  You are 100% correct.  The unionization of government employees is so insane, it leaves me speechless.  Well, almost.


Jul 25, 2009 11:00 PM #15
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