Cook County Beverage Tax Repealed
Letter to the Editor,
A taxpayer revolt has taken place in Cook County. The outrage wasn’t just about soda but a mandate against the repressive effects of cumulative taxation policies burdening the welfare of hard working families throughout Cook County. It was a forceful message sent by taxpayers to President Toni Preckwinkle and the Cook County Board of Commissioners that the Sweetened Beverage Tax was simply egregious and intolerable.
Yes, the Beverage Tax is now repealed but Cook County taxpayers must continue to let their voices be heard. You must hold President Preckwinkle and the Cook County Board accountable during the upcoming 2018 Budget Process (which begins on October 23) and discourage the decades’ long practice of solely raising new taxes instead of employing structural spending reforms.
My fellow commissioners and I, along with President Preckwinkle and her administration, must make the necessary reforms and reduce government spending. It will require the same hardened political will of the Cook County Commissioners who repealed the Beverage Tax to find reductions to the 2018 Budget rather than find new ways to squeeze additional revenue from the pockets of Cook County taxpayers.
Because of the Beverage Tax repeal victory, the County Board will have the opportunity to work with President Preckwinkle and her administration to help them find roughly $200 Million in reductions from her proposed $5.36 Billion 2018 Budget which, it is important to note, comes with a skyrocketing $500 Million increase above the current 2017 Budget.
Fortunately for taxpayers, there is little chance that the property tax levy, sales tax, or the service tax will be raised, as the county code was amended in November 2016 stating there can be no consideration of raising any of those taxes until January 2020.
It is a remarkable day when the ‘Will of the People’ wins out over the tax and spend approach we find all too often throughout government. I want to again thank the taxpayers of Cook County for standing up and making your voices heard. This unprecedented victory is yours.