Needless county tax

I would like to publicly thank all the commissioners, news organizations and county residents who made possible the county board’s vote to repeal the sales tax increase.

In July 2008, when I first introduced the sales tax hike repeal, it was met with snickers and fierce opposition. Over time, as the public, the media and the county board realized the devastating effect of this onerous tax, the tide changed and this proposal was finally passed.

It is a travesty that President Stroger chose to overturn the will of the people and the duly elected commissioners by vetoing this tax relief.

This highly regressive tax impacts the county’s poor and low-income taxpayers the most. This $400 million tax was originally passed to cover a supposed $200 million deficit. That makes no sense – and shows the tax was unnecessary.

An egregious tax like this slows economic growth and hurts the county budget more than helps it. In this struggling economy, we need tax relief to allow our employers to protect and create jobs. As I have always advocated, the county needs to eliminate the waste and corruption from the budget instead of raising taxes. The county receives plenty of tax dollars without the sales tax increase.

The county board’s passage of the repeal shows that the voters can make a difference. Todd Stroger’s veto, however, shows that the insiders will do anything – no matter how controversial – to hold on to power against the will of the people.

Remember, tyranny reigns when good people sit quiet. Together, we can bring positive change to our county.

Tony Peraica
Cook County Commissioner, 16th District

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