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Cook County Officials Appear in Glenview to Announce Sales Tax Reduction

By Todd Shields | January 3rd, 2013

GLENVIEW — Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced Wednesday the final move to reduce the 1 percent county sales increase.

Preckwinkle appeared in Glenview with Chicago-area business leaders at Abt Electronics, saying the decision will save taxpayers $440 million.

"I kept my promise to residents to eliminate the sales tax hike, the most significant pledge of my 2010 campaign," she said.

Former board president Todd Stroger imposed a sales tax increase before Preckwinkle was elected in November 2010.

The tax dropped to .75 percent on Tuesday, ending a two-year process.

In the 2013 budget, the .25 percent rollback had an $86 million impact, according to a Cook County release.

In 2012, the impact to the budget was more than $55 million.

Cook County spokesman Owen Wilmer said the reduction began in 2010, thus accounting for more of $440 million in projected taxpayer savings.

"In analyzing the revenue projections, we found that the sales tax rollback will save $440 million that would have been coming into county coffers," he said.

"When you lower the rate of the sales tax, you lose out on growth over time."

Preckwinkle also said the sales tax reduction caused county government to make "forward-thinking financial decisions" in a tightened budget.

"At the same time we've taken significant steps to rein in spending, eliminate waste and create efficiencies," she said.

"We look forward to seeing the positive effect this has, not only on Abt, but other retailers in the area," added Mike Abt, co-president of Abt.

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