Cook County Commissioner ‘Sales Tax is Dead’

October 9, 2007

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A push to raise the sales tax in Cook County looks like it's dead in the water. Chicago Public Radio's Ben Calhoun reports.


The county's current share of the sales tax is less than a percent. The proposed hike would nearly quadruple that, jacking it up to nearly 3-percent on the dollar. Last week, backers of the proposed sales tax hike deferred a vote because they needed to rally more support.

It appears the opposite has happened.

SUFFREDIN: At this point, I think the sales tax is dead.

Commissioner Larry Suffredin originally said he'd keep out of the sales tax battle—but now says he's resolved concerns about a possible conflict of interest.

SUFFREDIN: I've come to the conclusion that I will vote under the ethics act, and my intention is to vote no.

Suffredin says Commissioner Earlean Collins is also a no—and Commissioner Roberto Maldonado, thought to be a swing vote on taxes, says he'll vote no too. Which, means, if put up to the 17 member county board the sales tax hike would be defeated.

SUFFREDIN: At this point it would be ten to seven.

The county board is schedule to take up the sales tax increase at its next meeting a week from today.

I'm Ben Calhoun, Chicago Public Radio.