Sunday, March 2, 2008

The shameful conduct of Larry Suffredin and his tax cohorts on the Cook County Board -- shameful

Larry Suffredin is a disappointment. Fortunately for the people of Cook County, he will not be running for Cook County State's Attorney. During his campaign, Suffredin lied that he would represent the rights of voters. But instead, he caved in to the pressure of waste-management County Board President Todd Stroger who has punished the people of Chicago and Cook County with a record high sales tax.

Thanks to Larry Suffredin, CHicago has the dubious honor of having the highest sales tax in the nation.

We remember his quote:

"At this point, I see no need for any increase in taxes. I am opposed to a sales tax because it is regressive and adversely affects the poorest members of the community."—Cook County Commissioner LarrySuffredin. It was posted at Suffredin's web page and repeated on our radio show on

Suffredin folded in exchange for clout, backing the lying Todd Stroger who also promised to bring "reform" to the Cook County board. The only reform he has brought is the sleazy politics of former Chicago Alderman Bill Beavers and Oak Lawn's tax champion lawyer Burton Odelson. Beavers and Odelson are far from reformers and were seen on TV reports cheering when Suffredin caved in and the board voted to punish the 5.3 million people of Cook County with a 10.25 percent sales tax in Chicago -- 9 per cent sales tax in the outlying county suburban communities.

The Cook County Board voted to increase the county sales tax from .75 percent to 1.75 percent. When added to the city's sales tax, the county' increase will bring the total Chicago sales tax to 10.25 percent. Yikes!

Will County, a few minutes drive from most southwest suburban communities, only charges a 6.5 percent sales tax and that is where most of us will be driving. DuPage County's sales tax is only 7.75 percent.

We can't wait until November when the tax takes effect -- why so late? Because Stroger and his Odelson-Beaver minions must figure that will give them time to hire 1,100 more patronage workers to rebuild a new Cook County Political Machine and then use it to convince (brainwash) people that paying more in sales taxes from their limited incomes won't be so bad.

Here is what the Chicago Tribune wrote about Larry Suffredin:

"This travesty unfolded because Suffredin—who had labor leaders literally hovering behind him during deliberations—cut a deal that gave his decisive vote (and that $426 million) in new revenue to Stroger. So much for the proud claim in Suffredin's advertising during his recent primary campaign for state's attorney: 'As a reformer, I stood up to Todd Stroger's tax increases.' In return for flipping sides, Suffredin got a concession that sounds good but isn't worth his deal's huge tax bite: Stroger supposedly will relinquish control of the county's patronage-fat Bureau of Health Services to outside directors. Civic, health and labor groups will nominate 20 candidates; Stroger will select nine as directors. Translation: To have a majority—and to keep full control of the health system—Stroger will only need to find five patsies on the list of 20. Suffredin's cave is a huge disappointment. His reversals leave him looking like a wholly owned subsidiary of two unions, the Service Employees International and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Reformer? He is the enabler of Todd Stroger's tax increases."

Shame on you Larry Suffredin. Shame on you Burt Odelson. When the time comes, we will need to oust the entire lot from county government and reverse the Odelson-Suffredin-Stroger sales tax.

It's impossible to sort through the various sales tax, but here is what we have found:

Illinois imposes a 5 percent sales tax. Local communities build on that.

DuPage County:
5.00% .... State of Illinois
2.00% .... Village Share
0.25% .....Regional Transportation Authority
0.25% .... DuPage County
0.25% ..... DuPage Water Commission
7.75% .... Total Sales Tax in DuPage County

Will County
5.00% .... State of Illinois
1.5 % Will County total
6.5 % Total Sales Tax in Will County

The Sales tax borders vary, however:
Orland Park's sales tax rate is 8.5 percent in Cook County and 7.25 percent in Will County.

In Tinley Park, the rate is 7.75 percent in Cook County and 6.5 percent in Will County.

Oak Forest, in Cook County, has a 7.75 percent rate.

In Will County, New Lenox and Lockport have 6.5 percent rates, and Mokena has a 7 percent sales tax rate.

So, why would you shop in Cook County, even if you don't live in high-tax, waste-haven Chicago?

We need to recall Stroger, oust Suffredin and put the pressure on the county board to reverse the tax or suffer the consequences.

Ray Hanania

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