No New Taxes, Fees In Cook County Budget, For Now

Craig Dellimore
October 10, 2018 - 7:01 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Craig Dellimore

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has outlined a proposed 2019 budget that contains no new taxes or fees, but her administration is warning against anyone getting too comfortable with the temporarily rosy fiscal forecast. 

Preckwinkle told the County Board her administration has been able to close a $300 million budget gap, much of which resulted from the repeal of the unpopular sweetened beverage tax.

But Chief Financial Officer Ammar Rizki says most of the new revenue comes from the unexpectedly high enrollment in the County Care program. County government gets federal payments for those patients.

Officials warn the economic winds won’t be favorable forever. The medical payments could vanish if the entire Affordable Care Act is repealed.

"Without revenue, and I recognize that commissioners have no appetite for new revenue, tough decisions will need to be made," Preckwinkle said.