Monday, June 22, 2015

Flip-flop: Cook County prez wants to bring back "Stroger Tax" for pension bailout

Five years ago Toni Preckwinkle, a Chicago Democrat, was elected Cook County Board President after promising to roll back the one-percent increase in the county share of the sales tax that was instituted two years earlier by another Chicago Democrat, Todd Stroger--and that gave Chicagoans the highest sales tax of any major city. In suburban Cook--where I live--it was pretty high too.

Preckwinkle easily bested Stroger in the Democratic Primary in 2010.

Now Preckwinkle wants to bring back the hated "Stroger Tax."


From the Chicago Tribune:
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is trying to muster enough support to raise the sales tax by a penny on the dollar — an about-face on the key issue that propelled her into office.

The money would help shore up the pension system for county government workers and balance next year's budget. But getting nine of the 17 commissioners to vote for the sales tax hike could prove challenging, given the enormous backlash that unfolded in 2008 after the County Board increased the sales tax by 1 percentage point.

The move by then-Board President Todd Stroger led to his ouster in the 2010 Democratic primary, as Preckwinkle emerged from a crowded field after pledging to eliminate what remained of the unpopular tax hike. Preckwinkle ran a campaign ad in which she shook hands with an actor portraying Benjamin Franklin.
Three years ago at a downstate luncheon Preckwinkle said that Ronald Reagan deserved "a special place in hell" for his anti-drug policy. I'm sure she was shocked when her audience gasped. Not everyone is a Chicago liberal from Barack Obama's Hyde Park neighborhood.

But contemporary Republicans don't escape my scorn either. Preckwinkle ran unopposed last year.

Our nation has become one where people who don't have pensions--like me--pay for the pensions for those who do.

Oh, would you be surprised to learn that public-sector unions have been generous contributors to Preckwinkle's campaign fund?

Related post:

While bodies pile up at Cook County morgue, Preckwinkle praises Occupy crowd (VIDEO)

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