Cook County commissioners differ on how sales tax impacts budget

February 21, 2011

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Cook County commissioners are scheduled to discuss a new budget this week and they're still at odds over the effects of a controversial sales tax.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle campaigned on rolling back a one percentage point increase in the sales tax. In her first budget since taking office, Preckwinkle's scaling back part of it - a move she says is contributing to the county's $487 million deficit.

Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin says there's more to the shortfall.

"The repeal of the sales tax is part of the issue here, but the mismanagement of the prior administration is really the story of this budget," Suffredin said.

But Commissioner Joan Patricia Murphy says any layoffs or cuts in services that are approved in the budget are due to the sales tax reduction.

"It was the newspapers. The newspapers brainwashed the people into thinking this was the worst thing that ever happened to Cook County. It wasn't," Murphy said.

Commissioners are scheduled to address the budget Friday.