Champion of Chicago’s Double-Digit Sales Tax Loses Primary

February 3, 2010

From the Chicago Tribune:

Ald. Toni Preckwinkle captured the Democratic nomination for board president by a 2-1 ratio over her nearest rival in a low-turnout primary election that still produced a decisive referendum on the controversial tenure of President Todd Stroger.

Chosen by Democratic leaders four years ago to replace his ailing father, John, in the general election, Stroger found himself under near-constant fire for his combative style, a penny-on-the-dollar sales tax increase and his decisions to hire friends and relatives.

“The message is clear,” Preckwinkle told her cheering supporters shortly after 9 p.m. “Now is the time to repeal the Stroger sales tax. Now is the time to end patronage.”[…]

All three Stroger rivals [had] pledged to roll back the remaining portion of the tax hike, after a restive County Board last year cut the hike in half, with O’Brien vowing to do it immediately and the other two rivals over time.

Chicagoans are still paying Stroger’s 10.25% sales tax rate, the highest big-city rate in the United States; a part-reduction to 9.75% takes effect on July 1, 2010. Maybe sooner now?

More on Chicago’s sales tax travails:

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