I’m a native of Chicago. It’s a great city, and has every kind of attraction you can think of. It’s also the home to the best baseball team in the world (unfortunately, they usually don’t have a good record).
But Chicago may become a much more taxing place to visit or shop. Currently, the sales tax in Cook County (Chicago and nearby suburbs) is 9.00%. That doesn’t appear to be large enough to Cook County Commissioners.
Cook County Commissioner Joan Murphy told Leah Hope of WLS-TV, “We just need to do something other than cut jobs if we want to maintain services to our residents.” What’s the something she proposes? A sales tax increase from 9% to between 11% and 11.75%. That’s somewhere between a 22.2% increase and a 30.6% increase.
Apparently, Ms. Murphy thinks the tax increase is a done deal. She told Ms. Hope, “The sales tax is going up 2 ¾ percent. That’s not a back-breaking increase.”
Well, a 30.6% increase may not be back-breaking, but that’s a huge increase. I’m sure local businesses—especially those where individuals have options to shop elsewhere—will feel the difference. Wheaton, in nearby DuPage County, has a sales tax rate of 7.75%. A 4% difference will likely cause some shoppers to patronize other stores. Likewise, Joliet in Will County has a 7.75% rate.
The proposal must go through public hearings, and votes by the commissioners before being implemented. Needless to say, if you live in Cook County, this is something you may want to raise your voice about…or you will likely find things 30% more expensive.