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Sales Tax Hike Deferred (For Now)

By Kevin Robinson in News on Oct 1, 2007 9:45PM

2007_10_cook_county.GIFAmid criticism and sermons, the Cook County Board voted 9-7 this afternoon to defer until mid-October any further action on theproposed two percent sales tax increase. So while the tax hike isn't off the table yet, the deadline for first-quarter tax increases was today under state law — which means any increase that may happen won't take effect until April 1, 2008, at the earliest. (The county's fiscal year ends November 30.) County Commissioner Roberto Maldanado was the deciding vote, retaliating against Todd Stroger and William Beavers for threatening to suspend a resolution he co-sponsored declaring Cook County a sanctuary for immigrants. "I took that as an insult to me personally and to all [Latino] people," Maldanado told the Sun Times.

While the two percent tax hike might not be a sure thing today, there is still room for negotiation, which Maldanado has said he would consider. One place where the county hasn't been looking to make cuts is in the office budgets of county commissioners. A report in the Sun-Times today showed that only a handful of county commissioners cut their own staff budgets by the 17 percent demanded earlier this year.

Deferring passage of this of this tax increase doesn't make the county's work any easier, but it gives Mayor Daley a little more breathing room for his budget. Earlier today he told aldermen that he wants to raise property taxes by $108 million. Chicago is looking to close a $217 million budget gap.

Image via Cook County.