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A REVOLUTION IN SUBURBAN COOK COUNTY? One Suburb, Angered by Increased Sales Taxes, Wants to Secede!

NW SUBURBAN PALATINE, OTHER BORDER SUBURBS, DISCUSS CREATION OF NEW IL COUNTY TO ESCAPE HIGHER TAX BITE!

When you live in Chicago or the surrounding suburbs, one thing you notice quickly is the difference in tax levels across city and county boundaries.  A gallon of regular gas that costs me $3.38 near our office in the Lincoln Square Neighborhood of the city runs about $3.17 in the border suburb of Lincolnwood.  That same gallon of gas will cost a dime to twelve cents less in neighboring Lake County, about 15 miles to the north.   Travel downstate, that same gasoline will run less than $3.00 per gallon today.

Sales taxes vary widely as well.  Currently, in the City of Chicago, the gross sales tax is most areas is 8.75%.  It increases to 9.00% near The Chicago Loop.  Outlying suburbs range from 7% to 8.50%.  Downstate IL - away from Chicago - 6.25% in most areas.

In the Chicago area, already home of the highest gasoline taxes in the nation, sales taxes will soon increase - substantially!   Recent moves by the Illinois State Legislature will increase taxes by 0.25% in Chicago effective April 1, 2008.  Sales Taxes in suburban Cook County, as well as in the metro-area Collar Counties, will go up by 0.50% on the same day. 

To top these increases, effective next November 1st, a separate Sales Tax Increase in Cook County, approved last month by the Cook County Board of Commissioners, will boost taxes in Cook County - the county that includes the City of Chicago and many large suburbs - by an additional 1.0%.

These increases have many hopping mad - both consumers affected directly by the increase, and governing bodies in local suburban communities, whose businesses stand to suffer, and whose municipal revenues may become depleted, by the disparity in tax rates across the area.  Although some are resigned to the tax increase, several vocal village council members and mayors are asking Cook County Board President Todd Stroger to explain his reasoning for them.   

A few are often proposing the radical idea of seceding from the county, and creating their own, separate, "Lincoln" County.  When this idea was floated about 30 years ago - it went nowhere!

Indeed, when the new Cook County Taxes take effect in November, the Sales Tax Rate in Northwest Suburban Palatine IL will increase to 10%.  A mile or two away, in neighboring Lake County, the Sales Tax will be as low as 7%.  Purchasers of big ticket items, and non-durable goods, as well as gasoline, may shun local businesses, and travel a few minutes to save as much as three percent on their purchases.  Prospective homeowners considering certain border suburbs in which to live could be swayed by lower tax rates a short distance away, in the next county.

"What really gets me most is it's not only us: It's going to be the schools along with the village, the park district, any taxing body -- the dollars are going to shift from our area," said Palatine Council Member Scott Lamerand.  He is seriously considering his fellow council members explore the village leaving Cook County, joining bordering Lake County, or forming their own.

"It's just one more disadvantage, and obviously, it's a very regressive tax, and this is the worst time to impose it," said Mayor William McLeod of suburban Hoffman Estates.  The Village President of Southwest Suburban Burr Ridge, Gary Grasso, is concerned the higher tax will exasperate an already-weak housing and retail market.  However, his town still plans to develop a new retail center in Downtown Burr Ridge.

Many consider the tax increase regressive - most affecting less-affluent people who can't afford to travel to take advantage of lower sales tax rates.  Here in Chicago, where the jump in local sales taxes will make our city home of the highest sales tax rate in the U.S., many poorer residents can't afford, or have the time,  to travel outside of the city to make household purchases.  They will, in effect, be stuck with the tax structure in place near their home.

Our Blog Post on March 1st discusses the increased sales tax structure in more detail, and offers a relevant link to the Chicago Tribune for program specifics.  Also, please review yesterday's article in The Chicago Tribune, by Liam Ford and John Kielman, for more discussion, quotes, and video.

DEAN MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

Posted: Thursday, March 06, 2008 8:12 AM by Dean's Team

Comments

BlogChicagoHomes.com said:

PURCHASES OF MANY BIG-TICKET ITEMS MAY GO ONLINE, OR OUT OF STATE! As you no doubt know by now, Sales

# March 9, 2008 11:01 AM
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