Saturday, March 01, 2008



Chicago's new sales tax rate

Late last night:
Cook County Board President Todd Stroger struck a deal with board members, who early Saturday approved a 1 percent increase in the sales tax - driving Chicago's overall sales tax to double digits at 10.25 percent, easily among the highest of any big city.
The Sun-Times article notes:
The swing vote to pass the budget was set to come from Commissioner Larry Suffredin, who campaigned for state's attorney on a boast that he had "stood up to Todd Stroger's tax increases," and as of Friday night, his website still quotes him as saying "at this point, I see no need for any increase in taxes."
As I write this on Saturday morning, his web site still has his that quote posted. (Didn't I just write something about the level of honesty among Chicago politicians?) It also reprints a Chicago Tribune article confirming the Sun-Times account of his role the deal, and notes:
Under the deal, the county portion of the sales tax increases from 0.75 percent to 1.75 percent in November. As a result, someone buying $100 worth of merchandise will pay an extra dollar in sales tax.

Chicago's overall sales tax will stand at 10.25 percent, the highest of any major U.S. city. In suburban Cook, the sales tax would be a minimum of 9 percent. By comparison, the rates in New York and Los Angeles are below 8.5 percent.
Stroger had been seeking to hike the sales tax in Chicago to 12%. Still, this is outrageous. Chicagoans like myself now have even greater incentive to shop in Lake and DuPage counties or in Indiana as often as possible. I expect to be writing the previous sentence again in four years, unless the feds take a long overdue hard look at Cook county governance.


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