Cook County (the county of which Chicago is a part) spends more than it takes in, and the President of the Cook County Board has proposed a 30%
increase to the sales tax.
He is famous for having 5 public relations people on staff, several of whom have been told not to speak to the press. At the same time, he has fired county prosecutors, doctors, and nurses, to save money.
He was a guest on a morning radio program, trying to persuade those listening that the tax increases are really needed because the costs of providing county services (e.g. the county hospital and courts) increase as costs of electricity, heat, etc. go up each year.
He did not take calls from listeners, but several called in after his interview. They made three main points:
1-As far as buying things is concerned, they could not afford to pay the additional amount. Instead, they would go outside Cook County to make their purchases. So, instead of the income increasing 30%, the county would get nothing, because the purchase would be made in the area of another taxing authority.
2-Several callers said they would have to move their businesses out of the county, because they couldn't afford the additional tax.
3-One caller pointed out that Cook County was getting greater and greater income every year, without an increase in the tax rate. Since the sales tax is a fixed percentage, as prices go up each year, the revenue increases each year as well. Since the county was getting into worse and worse financial trouble in spite of the increased revenue, it meant county affairs were so poorly managed that they were outspending the increased revenue.
The interviewer pointed out that the county hospital loses untold millions of dollars because they do not attempt to collect the money owed for their services. It is run so incompetently, they rarely even send out a bill. The President of the Board responded by saying that he can't fix that right away. Instead of asking people to pay what they owe for the health services they are given, he says the first step is to get the tax increase, and eventually he hopes to start billing people.
Some of the Democrats and all of the Republicans on the board are unwilling to increase taxes to cover the shortfall, so there is a deadlock at this point.
Sounds like a good place to live!.............................NOT!
Got that right Leigh. Northern politics is one reason I migrated South.