* Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin…
The most important role of a county commissioner is to pass a yearly budget that meets the needs of the residents and fairly balances services and costs.
I voted Wednesday — along with Commissioner Jerry Butler — to keep Cook County’s sweetened beverage tax because it was a tax on a small number of people rather than a general sales or property tax on all. This tax had a twofold purpose: First, it provided enough revenue to balance our 2017 budget without gimmicks. Second, it helped us fight the increase in heart disease, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis and the high cost of treatment.
Unfortunately, repeal of the sweetened beverage tax also repeals the law that prohibited the raising of any taxes by Cook County until after 2020. This tax limitation covered property taxes, sales taxes and home-rule excise taxes. The repeal of the tax limitation means all taxes are in play.
* Daily Herald…
Cook County homeowners are getting a property tax break that their counterparts in other counties aren’t.
The $7,000 homeowners exemption and $5,000 senior citizen exemption are both increasing by $3,000 next year, to $10,000 and $8,000 respectively, thanks to legislation Gov. Bruce Rauner recently signed. Cook County taxpayers will see the effects of the exemption increases on the second installment of their property taxes next summer, officials said.
“The exemptions hadn’t kept pace with the values of homes in Cook County,” said Tom Shaer, a spokesman for Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios. “This was designed to help lower-market and middle-class homeowners.”
The exemptions cut taxes by reducing the assessed value of homes.
Meanwhile, homeowners in the collar counties and downstate won’t see similar increases to their exemptions. The homeowners exemption will stay at $6,000 for collar county and downstate homeowners, and the senior citizen exemption will remain at $5,000. […]
Using Cook County’s most recently available average tax rate for the Northern suburbs, the change in the homeowners exemption would reduce the tax bill on a $300,000 home by about $277 next year if tax levies remain flat. People over age 65 who receive both exemptions on a $300,000 house could expect to pay about $555 less.