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Commissioners give Preckwinkle’s budget proposal mixed reviews

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Updated: November 20, 2012 10:55AM



Cook County commissioners are offering mixed reviews of Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s 2013 budget proposal to boost the cigarette tax by a $1 per pack, create a special violence tax — a nickel per bullet and $25 per firearm — and charge an $800 annual tax on every slot and video gaming machine in Cook County.

Board members are also studying Preckwinkle’s proposal to have businesses and residents pay a 1.25 percent “use tax” on property that is not subject to legal ownership title — from lumber to televisions — that’s more than $2,500 and is purchased outside the county. Because businesses and residents would self-report and pay the tax, questions are being raised about enforcement.

Most commissioners interviewed by the Sun-Times praised Preckwinkle for holding the line on property taxes and making good on her promise to repeal the rest of an unpopular penny-on-the-dollar sales tax hike, but several questioned whether the cigarette tax would bring in the $15 million Preckwinkle’s budget office projected.



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