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Palatine Still Considering Quitting Cook County

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Palatine Village Hall

Palatine Village Hall (Credit: CBS)

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PALATINE, Ill. (CBS) – Although new Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says she will roll back completely the county tax hike enacted three years ago, the northwest suburb of Palatine is still thinking of quitting the county over high taxes.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Palatine officials have asked to meet with Cook County board members over possible secession.

Palatine officials are questioning how it benefits from the $20 million a year in tax revenue the village gives to Cook County, the Tribune reported.

Serious discussion of secession by Palatine dates back to January 2008, when then-County Board President Todd Stroger passed a 1 percent hike in the county sales tax to balance the budget. The hike brought the sales tax in Chicago to the highest level in the country.

The board later voted to roll back half of the sales tax hike, and Preckwinkle campaigned on a promise to eliminate the hike altogether.

Palatine has discussed either forming its own county or joining neighboring Lake County. In 2009, voters in Palatine Township approved a non-binding referendum in favor of leaving Cook County, as did Barrington and Hanover townships, the Tribune reported.

But the legal process for seceding from a county will likely be challenging, given that it would require a countywide vote. A Palatine lawmaker has introduced a bill to simplify the process, the Tribune reported.

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