President Preckwinkle Honored As County Leader Of The Year
President Preckwinkle has been honored with American City and County Magazine’s 2012 Leader of the Year Award at the Annual Conference of the National Association of Counties (NACo), held July 13-17 in Pittsburgh, PA. “I am thrilled to receive this award, and by the vote of confidence from my peers,” President Preckwinkle said. “I have been working hard to steer Cook County in a fiscally sound direction, to be inclusive and to ensure transparency and accountability to the taxpayers I serve. This recognition provides encouragement that we are going in the right direction, and impetus to continue our hard work.” This year, in her role as vice chair of the Health Steering Committee, President Preckwinkle sponsored a resolution supporting charity care requirements for non-profit and tax-exempt health care facilities, including objective measurement of the amount of actual charity health care providers tender to those in need. The resolution reflects President Preckwinkle’s broader healthcare agenda, which supports charity care requirements in proportion to tax exemption, with the goal of decreasing the burden of uncompensated care at urban and rural county hospitals. “I believe we need closer scrutiny of what constitutes true charity care, and how that intersects with the tax exemption benefits afforded to our elite health institutions,” President Preckwinkle said. “This is an important public health issue that impacts many of our most vulnerable citizens, in urban areas like Cook County, and in smaller counties that are also feeling the impact at their public hospitals.” Also at the NACo Conference, President Preckwinkle sponsored a resolution and urged the support of the “Marketplace Fairness Act,” (MFA) a bipartisan proposal aimed at leveling the playing field between local retailers that have a physical presence within a state, and online retailers. The MFA, introduced by United States Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), provides an avenue for states to collect sales taxes from large online retailers. Currently, the vast majority of those who shop online do not pay taxes that are owed to state government because of non-collection by many web retailers. NACo estimates online sales tax collection would generate $23 billion in tax revenue owed to states in 2012.