Listen to the chants from Chicago: We’re Number 1! We’re Number 1! We’re Number 1!
Chicago just leapfrogged past several other cities with the passage of a Cook County sales tax hike of one percentage point to 10.25%.
With that hike, Chicago Now has America’s Highest Sales Tax.
Chicago has long had a steep sales tax, but a vote by Cook County commissioners Wednesday night made the city’s rate the highest of any major city in the nation.
The commissioners approved a 1% hike, which bumped the sales tax rate in Cook County – where Chicago is located – from 9.25% to 10.25%. The increase passed with the minimum number of votes needed and is aimed at helping bail out the pension system for county workers.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who advocated for the hike, said the increase would generate an estimated $474 million more in sales tax per year and is necessary to ward off the ‘pension tsunami’ that’s closing in on the county. The retirement fund has a shortfall of $6.5 billion – a figure that’s growing by $360 million per year.
This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on August 18th, 2015.