Showdown vote set for Cook County sales tax

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Now that Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has vetoed a measure by Cook County Commissioners to rollback the sales tax, a showdown vote is set for next month.

Now that Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has vetoed a measure by Cook County Commissioners to rollback the sales tax, a showdown vote is set for next month. For the third time Stroger vetoed on Monday, an ordinance to rollback the county sales tax, which is 1.75 percent. Combined with the sales tax portions for Chicago, the state and the Regional Transportation Authority, the city’s sales tax swells to 10.25 percent, the highest in the nation. From the beginning Stroger said the county could not afford to reduce its current sales tax unless it was prepared to make massive cuts to its health care system. “Our health care system would suffer if this motion is successful at standing,” Stroger said after a Nov. 16 board meeting when commissioners voted 12-5 to rollback the sales tax to 1.25 percent beginning July 1, 2010. “The level of health care will be decreased if we rollback the sales tax.” Stroger had been successful at blocking previous attempts to rollback the tax, in part, because state law required 14 commissioners’ votes to override his veto. However, recently the state law changed and now only 11 votes are needed to override his veto. The last time commissioners tried to override his veto they fell one vote short. If commissioners are successful at overriding his veto this time, Stroger said the county would lose $200 million in revenues which would result in closing Provide Hospital on the South Side, south suburban Oak Forest Hospital and all 16 county clinics heavily used by the poor and uninsured. Copyright 2009 Chicago Defender.

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