The president of the Cook County Board is floating her proposed budget for 2012, and there’s plenty for citizens already feeling nickeled and dimed not to like: New licensing fees on cash-operated jukeboxes, pool tables and other amusement devices. New service charges, and higher vehicle sticker fees, for the 2 percent of county residents who live in unincorporated areas. Higher parking charges at county garages. A tax hike on alcoholic beverages, and a broadening of the tobacco tax to products (think roll-your-own) other than cigarettes. A higher “use tax” on the purchase of titled property, such as cars and boats.
If you’ve been reading the news coverage, you know that some county commissioners reacted unhappily last week to these and other money-raising components of the budget.
So let’s all take a moment of silence and wish that Toni Preckwinkle instead had found more places to cut spending. Let’s hope, too, that commissioners will work with her to refine some of her ideas.