CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said Tuesday she will present a preliminary budget plan that includes a proposal to increase the county sales tax she spent years rolling back.
Preckwinkle told a City Club of Chicago breakfast, while facing a projected operating deficit of nearly $200 million, and a $6.5 billion pension shortfall, the county has no choice but to raise revenue.
She said she’ll reconsider what the county needs, if and when the Illinois General Assembly approves her plan to overhaul the county’s employee pension plans, but until then, she’s pushing an 1 percentage point increase in the county’s sales tax. Her office has estimated the sales tax increase would raise $308 million in revenue in 2016.
“The reason that we’re raising the tax the entire 1 percent is so that we can meet our obligations, and kind of catch up, given the fact that we’ve waited a year for Springfield to act, and it’s caused us to be $360 million further down. The longer we wait, the more unfunded obligation we incur,” she said.