Local News

Consumer taxes in Cook County will increase by one percentage point next year as a result of a vote by commissioners.

The county sales tax is currently .75 percent and would rise to 1.75 percent. That would make Chicago's total sales tax rate 10.25 percent, among the nation's highest.

Before Wednesday's 9-7 vote, board President Toni Preckwinkle said the extra tax money is needed to restore financial health to the county's government worker pension fund.

Officials with the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Retail Merchants Association, and the Civic Federation, a budget watchdog group, testified against the tax hike.

Civic Federation President Laurence Msall noted his group has praised Preckwinkle for her efforts to streamline government. However, he said a sales tax increase shouldn't be considered before a 2016 budget proposal is unveiled.

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