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Cook County Passes New Budget, No New Taxes

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Nov 20, 2009 3:20PM

2009_11_cook_county_logo_again.jpg After all the huffing and puffing earlier this week over the new tax rollback, the Cook County Board still managed to pass its 2010 budget yesterday and there were no new taxes included. The budget, valued at $3 billion, does include that new half-percent tax rollback - from 1.75 percent to 1.25 percent. Though the battle over the veto and override still hovers on the horizon.

So how does the board plan to make up the loss of revenue from the tax cut, estimated at $32 million? It seems they won't fill a slew of vacant jobs and since they won't see the consequences - good or ill - of the rollback until 2011, they say that gives them more time to figure out what else to cut. But the health care system will see $13 million cut and the board set a mandate that departments cut their budget by five percent or risk facing a three percent hit. In the process of passing the budget, commissioners also killed Board President Todd Stroger's plan for a film office.

With the budget done, the board and Stroger can go back to the important things, like campaigning. According to Clout Street, Stroger and all but one of the commissioners - Forrest Claypool - are running for reelection.