WBEZ | Cook County budget http://www.wbez.org/tags/cook-county-budget Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Preckwinkle defends disputed use tax http://www.wbez.org/news/preckwinkle-defends-disputed-use-tax-107844 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/20130625_PRECKWINKLE_006.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Tuesday defended her controversial tax on big-ticket items purchased outside the county, which is now the target of a lawsuit by a powerful Chicago business group.</p><p>The so-called use tax applies to goods worth more than $3,500 that are used by Cook County residents and businesses, but were bought outside of the County. In a lawsuit filed late last week, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce argues the use tax violates the Illinois Constitution and state law.</p><p>But on Tuesday, Preckwinkle argued the County Board recently lowered the use tax rate - to .75 percent from 1.25 percent - in order to allay legal concerns.</p><p>&ldquo;Frankly, we took action at the last board meeting to remove one of those grounds, and we think we have a strong case,&rdquo; Preckwinkle said of last week&rsquo;s vote. &ldquo;We&rsquo;ll see what the courts decide.&rdquo;</p><p>Preckwinkle&rsquo;s administration expects about $13.8 million in revenue this year from the new use tax, which took effect April 1. During budget negotiations, the county president sold the tax as a way to encourage Cook County residents and companies to buy from local businesses. It doesn&rsquo;t apply to titled property like automobiles.</p><p>But the move irked many businesses who make big purchases outside of Cook County to circumvent high sales taxes.</p><p>Preckwinkle said the tax will ultimately benefit Cook County&rsquo;s business climate.</p><p>&ldquo;The city has had a use tax forever,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I mean, I was an alderman for 19 years. The city had a use tax.&rdquo;</p><p>Last week&rsquo;s rollback of the use tax rate means the county will lose out on about $5 million in revenue this year, according to county spokeswoman Kristen Mack.</p><p>For 2014, the county expected to bring in $25.6 million in revenue from the tax, but that&rsquo;s now been dropped to just $11.7 million.</p><p><em>Alex Keefe covers politics for WBEZ. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/akeefe" target="_blank">@akeefe</a>. </em></p></p> Tue, 25 Jun 2013 16:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/preckwinkle-defends-disputed-use-tax-107844 Reviewing Preckwinkle's first year in office http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-07/reviewing-preckwinkles-first-year-office-94671 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-December/2011-12-07/preckwinkle at board_3.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When Toni Preckwinkle took over as <a href="http://www.cookcountygov.com/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_0_336_226_0_43/http%3B/www.cookcountygov.com/ccWeb.Leadership/LeadershipProfile.aspx?commiss_id=406" target="_blank">Cook County Board President</a> last December, she vowed to do things differently than her predecessor Todd Stroger. Preckwinkle initiated the reversal of Stroger’s penny-on-the-dollar sales tax increase and she also promised to lead the county on a "new course." The passage of Preckwinkle’s 2012 county budget suggested county commissioners thought she was on the right path; but there have been criticisms. <a href="http://www.suffredin.org/" target="_blank">Commissioner Larry Suffredin</a> expressed skepticism over the way Preckwinkle dealt with labor unions and <a href="http://www.timothyoschneider.com/" target="_blank">Commissioner Timothy Schneider</a> had concerns about some points in the budget as they related to unincorporated Cook County. Still, many were pleased with Preckwinkle’s leadership over the past year. To get a behind the scenes view of how things have been going, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> was joined by President Preckwinkle and Commissioner Schneider.</p><p><em>Music Button: Victor Wooten, "2 Timers", from the album Palmystery, (Heads Up)</em></p></p> Wed, 07 Dec 2011 15:11:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-07/reviewing-preckwinkles-first-year-office-94671 Cook County Board still debating furlough days http://www.wbez.org/story/cook-county-board-still-debating-furlough-days-93675 <p><p>Cook County commissioners continue to debate the issue of a 2011 budget measure that requires them to take furlough days by the end of the year.</p><p>As part of&nbsp; last year's deal, county commissioners were required to take 10 furloughs to help close a $487 million deficit. The president's office projected the furlough days would cut 4.8 percent of their budget. But earlier this year, five commissioners refused to take those unpaid days, even though both voted in favor of the budget measure, though some eventually conceeded.</p><p>At a County Board meeting on Tuesday, Commissioner William Beavers accused Board President Toni Preckwinkle of playing favorites in the debate.</p><p>"As soon as I decided not to take it, then there was something wrong with it. Then when you went to lookin', you found out I wasn't the only one," Beavers said. "Some of your friends, some of your pets didn't take it, so you had to clean it up. Alright?"</p><p>"Are you suggesting the teacher has pets?" said Preckwinkle.</p><p>"Yeah," said Beavers. "That's exactly right."</p><p>Preckwinkle says she wants to get away from furlough days in next year's budget. The board currently faces a $315 million shortfall.</p></p> Tue, 01 Nov 2011 22:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/cook-county-board-still-debating-furlough-days-93675 Preckwinkle says layoff notices are starting to go out http://www.wbez.org/story/preckwinkle-says-layoff-notices-are-starting-go-out-93671 <p><p>Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said on Tuesday that the county is starting to send out its layoff notices.</p><p>Around 100 people in the president's office received pink slips Monday as part of the first round of layoffs. A spokesperson said no more notices were sent out Tuesday, but that the president is planning to cut another 180 people from the office. Preckwinkle has proposed more than 1,000 layoffs total to help plug a $315 million budget gap.</p><p>"We've balanced the budget. The question is how many layoffs there are going to be," said Preckwinkle. "The proposal on the table is a little more than 1,000 layoffs. We can cut that number almost in half."</p><p>Preckwinkle has said there could be fewer layoffs if unions agree to seven unpaid vacation and shut down days.</p></p> Tue, 01 Nov 2011 20:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/preckwinkle-says-layoff-notices-are-starting-go-out-93671 Suburban mayors assess impact of city and county budgets for their residents http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-01/suburban-mayors-assess-costs-city-and-county-budgets-their-residents-936 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-November/2011-11-01/6058497460_1ea0a0fb44_b.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The latest budgets from the <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en.html">City of Chicago</a> and <a href="http://blog.cookcountygov.com/" target="_blank">Cook County</a> proposed challenging cuts along with new taxes and fees. Both put the squeeze on Chicago’s suburban neighbors in a number of ways.</p><p><a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/city/en/depts/mayor.html" target="_blank">Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s</a> city budget suggested a 3-year water rate increase to pay for Chicago’s aging infrastructure, which would hit suburbs that buy water from the city. Meanwhile <a href="http://www.cookcountygov.com/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_0_336_226_0_43/http%3B/www.cookcountygov.com/ccWeb.Leadership/LeadershipProfile.aspx?commiss_id=406" target="_blank">Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle</a> wanted residents of unincorporated areas to pay for county police services.</p><p>Edward Zabrocki, mayor of south suburban <a href="http://www.tinleypark.org/" target="_blank">Tinley Park</a>, and Gerald Turry, mayor of north suburban <a href="http://www.lincolnwoodil.org/" target="_blank">Lincolnwood</a>, joined<em> Eight Forty-Eight</em> to discuss the suburban reaction to the city and county budgets.</p></p> Tue, 01 Nov 2011 13:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-01/suburban-mayors-assess-costs-city-and-county-budgets-their-residents-936 Fees, tax increases arise in Cook County budget http://www.wbez.org/story/fees-tax-increases-arise-cook-county-budget-93599 <p><p>A Cook County commissioner says he's surprised at some new fees and tax increases in the county's recent budget proposal. Cook County Board&nbsp;President Toni Preckwinkle estimates that some of these increases could bring in more than $5 million.</p><p>Commissioner Larry Suffredin said the president failed to make some increases clear in early budget talks.</p><p>"That was failing in this presentation in that only the larger numbers were mentioned, not the smaller numbers, which add up to being large numbers," he said.</p><p>The Evanston commissioner says he doesn't have a problem with some of the budget suggestions, but thinks the increases are too high.</p><p>Preckwinkle proposes a new licensing fee for jukeboxes, pool tables and video poker, along with doubling vehicle stickers for unincorporated Cook County residents.&nbsp;She's also suggesting an increase in parking rates at unincorporated county garages.</p><p>Budget negotiations begin next week.</p></p> Fri, 28 Oct 2011 23:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/fees-tax-increases-arise-cook-county-budget-93599 Annexation may relieve County budget woes http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-01/annexation-may-relieve-county-budget-woes-83167 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//Palatine unincorp flickr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Mayor-elect Emanuel&rsquo;s real counterpart in county government is dealing with an estimated budget shortfall of $487 million. In her <a target="_blank" href="http://www.ccachicago.org/sites/default/files/CookCountyTransitionReport_2010.pdf">transition report</a> last December, Cook County Board President <a target="_blank" href="http://www.co.cook.il.us/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_0_331_0_0_43//ccWeb.Leadership/LeadershipProfile.aspx?commiss_id=406">Toni Preckwinkle</a> floated some ideas on how to close that budget shortfall. One of those involves making nearby towns responsible for unincorporated land. This would relieve Cook County of some financial burden. But what would annexation involve and how would it affect its residents? <br /> <a target="_blank" href="http://www.uic.edu/cuppa/pa/faculty/hendrick.html"><br />Rebecca Hendrick</a> is an associate professor of political science at University of Illinois at Chicago. She has a book coming out this fall about the financial situation facing municipalities and she joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight </em>by phone.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 01 Mar 2011 14:20:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-01/annexation-may-relieve-county-budget-woes-83167 Preckwinkle: Cut county budget by 21 percent http://www.wbez.org/story/cook-county/preckwinkle-county-officials-collaborate-and-cut <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//IMG_0763.jpg" alt="" /><p><div style=""><span style="font-size: 10pt; color: black;">Cook County Board President-Elect Toni Preckwinkle wants county departments to cut their budgets by 21 percent between February and the end of 2011. The </span><span style="font-size: 10pt;">county faces a $487 million budget gap for the 2011 fiscal year, which begins December 1.</span></div> <div style="">&nbsp;</div> <div style=""><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Preckwinkle said Thursday that the gap is largely due to a decline in sales tax revenue, which&nbsp;resulted from a roll-back of the sales tax rate over the summer. At the same time, Preckwinkle anticipates county costs to go up from negotiations with contract employees. Expenditures are also set to increase because of a $55 million dollar settlement that the county recently reached with county jail inmates over illegal <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/cook-county-pay-55-million-jail-inmates">strip-searches</a>.</span></div> <div style="">&nbsp;</div> <div style=""><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Preckwinkle says she wants to close much of the gap by having departments collaborate and consolidate. &ldquo;I've talked to the separately-elected officials,&rdquo; said Preckwinkle.&nbsp;&ldquo;I've made it abundantly clear that no one would be absolved from having to make cuts, and no one would be alone in making cuts.&rdquo; Preckwinkle herself vowed to take a 10 percent salary reduction.</span></div> <div style="">&nbsp;</div> <div style=""><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Cook</span><span style="font-size: 10pt;"> County</span><span style="font-size: 10pt;"> officials have until the end of February </span>to<span style="font-size: 10pt;"> pass a budget.</span></div> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 18 Nov 2010 23:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/cook-county/preckwinkle-county-officials-collaborate-and-cut