On Wednesday, November 18, the Cook County Board passed its FY2016 Budget which included four new taxes: 1) Hotel Tax, 2) Ammunition Tax, 3) E-Cigarette & E-Liquid Tax, and 4) Ticket Re-Sellers Tax. Unfortunately, all four taxes were passed as part of the FY2016 Budget placing a greater financial burden on the businesses of these four industries and Cook County taxpayers.
I want to thank the many concerned residents and businesses for their numerous correspondences during the six-week budget process. Your voices did not go unheard. I voted "No" on all four tax proposals as well as the FY2016 Budget because I fundamentally disagree with the continuous creation of new taxes which I believe will negatively impact our local economy and taxpayers. As a small business owner, I know firsthand the taxation pressures placed upon businesses in Cook County and the negative impact it can have on residents.
Moreover, these new taxes will have a direct impact on the suburban 17th District in particular as the district shares nearly 40 miles of border with DuPage and Will counties. These new taxes are on top of the 1% sales tax increase passed just four months ago. We know from experience that these new taxes will put businesses in the 17th District at an economic disadvantage against neighboring businesses just a short drive across the county line.
Raising taxes can no longer be the primary remedy to addressing fiscal matters because creating new revenue streams inevitably leads to new spending. Our path to fiscal stability needs to be built squarely around strong fiscal reform policies across all areas of Cook County government along with fostering a positive economic environment where businesses can thrive.
I look forward to working with my county board colleagues and President Preckwinkle’s administration to create new and innovative reforms and establish more quantifiable measures to continue to move Cook County government in the right fiscal direction.
Sean M. Morrison
Cook County Commissioner