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Preckwinkle rolls back Stroger's tax hike

Cook County residents are now paying a little less to go out to eat or shop.  

Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced Wednesday the county rolled back a quarter percent of its sales tax. It was the last step in eliminating a 1 percent sales tax hike under former Board President Todd Stroger.

Preckwinkle said as of Jan. 1, the county share of the sales tax went back to three quarters of a percent.

“We kept our promise and the sales tax has been eliminated. As a result the county has had to rely on innovative solutions to lower spending without negatively impacting the provision of services,” Preckwinkle said.  

This adjustment lowered Chicago's overall sales tax rate from 9.5 percent to 9.25 percent and will save taxpayers $440 million, according to Preckwinkle.

Gregg Goslin is the cook county commissioner who represents the north and northwest suburbs. He said the sales tax rollback will allow businesses in his district to compete with neighboring businesses outside of Cook County.

“My district is bordered by three different counties, by Lake, by McHenry and by Kane, which puts all our districts at a competitive disadvantage as competitors have lower sales tax than the other counties,” he said.

While Preckwinkle said tax cuts may benefit businesses and residents, they still mean lost revenue for the county.  

Later this year, Cook County plans to increase taxes by $1 per pack of cigarettes, $25 per firearm purchased in Cook County, and additional yearly fees on slots machines and video gambling terminals.

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