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Not Just Hinting: Stroger on Tax Hike

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Cook County Board President Todd Stroger says without a doubt, he’s looking to raise taxes next year. Chicago Public Radio’s Ben Calhoun reports.

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Months ago, critics of President Stroger said they suspected he was angling for a tax hike. As the Cook County’s money problems have gotten worse again, Stroger’s looked more and more like he was heading in that direction. At yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) county board meeting, someone asked the president if he was hinting about a tax increase.

STROGER: Oh I’m not hinting.

Not hinting, Stroger says, because county government already has been cut “to the bone.”

STROGER: If you don’t want to cut any more services, then we’re going to have to have more revenue, which means there’s going to have some kind of tax increasing.

The idea of tax hikes has already gotten cold reception from several commissioners. They say they don’t think the county’s been doing a convincing job of spending money responsibly—so they’d vote no on raising taxes. All of this could mean another contentious budget fight this winter, as Cook County’s continues to veer towards another financial crisis.

I’m Ben Calhoun, Chicago Public Radio

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