Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Gorman praises board action to override Stroger veto of sales tax rollback

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                 CONTACT:  Peg Walsh:  773-704-4655                  
Commissioner Gorman and County Board Override Stroger’s Veto of Sales Tax Repeal

December 1, 2009 – Today marked a major victory for Cook County taxpayers and businesses as Commissioner Liz Gorman joined with eleven other county board members in voting (12 to 5) to override President Todd Stroger’s veto of the 0.5% Sales Tax Repeal.  The 0.5% Sales Tax Repeal was passed by the county board by a 12 to 5 margin on November 17, 2009 after two previous repeal votes were vetoed by Stroger.  Within days of this most recent Sales Tax Repeal vote the board president, for a third time, vetoed this tax-cutting measure.

During today’s debate from the floor of the county board, Commissioner Gorman, in her remarks stated, “A new chapter in Cook County Government is being written today!  What governmental bodies are you aware of that have successfully repealed a tax?  In this economy, governments are making hard cuts and looking to increase tax and fee revenues wherever possible.

With this repeal, we are being proactive by leveling the playing field for our businesses so that they can grow, compete and create jobs.  This sales tax repeal will return consumer confidence back in Cook County. In turn, this will provide opportunity for municipalities to increase their local tax receipts by rolling back a portion now. 

This vote should be used as a litmus test for voters to hold elected officials accountable.  Not only does this repeal represent a sales tax cut, but it makes a bold statement -- that this body recognizes that taxpayers are not satisfied with the tax and spend policies that have dominated county government for decades and that this county board is serious about fiscal responsibility.  I hope this is the first step in many that will lead to more constructive reform initiatives and tax policies for county government.”

Today’s successful override vote was made possible by new legislation passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor (October 2009) that reduced the veto override threshold from 4/5 to 3/5.  Commissioner Gorman sponsored the county board resolution that urged the state legislature and governor to pass and sign this legislation.  

The 0.5% Sales Tax Repeal will reduce the Cook County Sales Tax from 1.75% down to 1.25%. The Sales Tax Repeal will be effective on July 1, 2010.

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