(Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle | Photo by ChicagoNewsCoOp)
In case you missed it on your way to the weekend, the Cook County Board of Commissioners passed a budget for 2012 last Friday. The County has a $315 million budget imbalance and the new budget seeks to address it with $50 million in new/higher taxes and fees.
County Board President Toni Preckwinkle was successful in rolling back sales taxes (the county’s part will drop by a quarter percentage on January 1) in the $2.94 billion budget but if you smoke or drink, you might still be a bit miffed. And if you’re one of the 800 county employees who will be laid off under the new budget, that’s especially bad because you’ll probably want a stiff drink or two…or eighteen.
The tax on a 24-pack of beer will increase by six cents and the tax on some bottles of vodka may go up by more than 50 cents. The cigarette tax will now also apply to loose tobacco and cigars (hipsters and fat-cats will share in the grief here).
President Preckwinkle’s budget passed 16-1, with the lone dissenting vote coming from GQ Style Editor William Beavers.
For more details on the budget passage, read Erika Slife and the Chicago Tribune’s coverage of it.