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Cook County Board Reduces Business Use Tax

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CHICAGO (CBS) – The Cook County Board has voted to cut a tax that primarily affects business purchases made outside of the county.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports commissioners voted to reduce the “use tax” on so-called “non-titled personal property.”

The tax applies to purchases made outside the county, by buyers from Cook County, on items like office supplies and furniture.

Buyers must pay the tax when their purchase exceeds $3,500 per year. The tax does not cover real estate or vehicles.

County Board President Toni Preckwinkle acknowledged the use tax also faces a court challenge, and that was a factor in reducing the tax from 1.25 percent to 0.75 percent.

“We proposed the … tax reduction to address business community concerns, and to strengthen our legal arguments,” she said.

County Budget Director Andrea Gibson said the change will cost the county about $5 million in revenue this year, and about $14 million next year.

“Certainly the first thing that I would look at mid-year, and make a recommendation, is to see where we can scale back expenditures,” she said.

A preliminary 2014 county budget could be unveiled next week.

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