Farm Bureau sent the following letter to Cook County Commissioners supporting the gradual repeal of the Cook County sales tax increase, approved in July.

The purpose of this communication is to SUPPORT Ordinance 15-5311, which provides for the gradual repeal of the Cook County sales tax.  Cook County Farm Bureau® policy #202 (Cook County Finance) opposes the increase in the county’s sales tax rate.

Ordinance 15-5311 calls for the 1.75 percent sales tax rate approved in July to be reduced to 1.25 percent for the period of January 1 through December 31, 2017 and 0.75 percent thereafter.

As a result of the sales tax approved in July, Cook County consumers and visitors are facing a nation-leading sales tax of between 10.25 percent and 11.25 percent.  The highest rate, 11.25 percent, will be paid by consumers in the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority area.

Cook County Farm Bureau® strongly opposes the county’s sales tax rate approved in July and strongly supports Ordinance 15-5311, which begins the process of repealing the highly regressive sales tax increase. 

The July sales tax increase gives Cook County the dubious honor of having one of the highest sales tax rates in the nation. Cook County is not an island in the middle of nowhere, but is bordered by counties and a state with lower sales tax rates. Shoppers will go elsewhere. Retailers will go elsewhere. Businesses will go elsewhere. The county will be less competitive than our neighbors. The nearly half a billion dollars that the increase will raise will be at the cost of businesses, jobs and Cook County shoppers.

Cook County Farm Bureau’s member small businesses, like shoppers, will bear the burden of this sales tax hike. Unlike shoppers, family-owned farm businesses cannot simply go elsewhere. Farmers make significant investments in their land, buildings, equipment, and employees, all of which cannot be easily relocated.

As the county’s largest general farm organization with over 46,000 members, the Cook County Farm Bureau® supports Ordinance 15-5311, which gradually repeals the sales tax increase.