Finance Committee, County Board to Consider Proposal to Fund Pension Fund, Debt Service and Infrastructure Improvements

July 10, 2015

The Finance Committee of the Cook County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing and committee meeting on Board President Toni's Preckwinkle's proposal to increase the County's share of the sales tax by 1 percent for pension fund and legacy debt service payments, as well as to support transportation infrastructure, on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 10 a.m.

A meeting of the full Board of Commissioners to consider the proposal is scheduled for 11 a.m.

Both meetings will take place in the Cook County Board Room on the 5th Floor of the Cook County Building, 118 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL.

The sales tax proposal is necessary to address the significant shortfall in the County's Pension Fund that has been left unresolved by Springfield, Preckwinkle said. We can no longer afford to wait. Every month without action creates another $30 million in unfunded pension liability. The current situation is unsustainable.

Preckwinkle warned months ago that Fiscal Year 2016 would be a challenging one for Cook County. And, as work begins on the FY 16 budget, Preckwinkle said her finance team will also be identifying more than $100 million in targeted expenditure cuts.

Revenue increases through a sales tax, coupled with significant expenditure cuts, will put the County on firm financial footing for the future and allow us to invest in long-delayed infrastructure improvements, absorb increased legacy debt service costs, and pay down our pension shortfalls without further exacerbating the financial crisis for future generations, Preckwinkle said.

The text of the proposal can be found here.