Statement on Fitch Ratings’ Positive Commentary Regarding Cook County Budget
We appreciate that Fitch Ratings recognizes our efforts to help address the solvency of the Cook County Pension Fund. Raising the sales tax rate by 1 percent was a difficult but critically important action to help address a $6.5 billion Pension Fund shortfall that has been growing by $1 million a day. The revenue generated by the sales tax coupled with an intergovernmental agreement approved by the Board of Commissioners yesterday will allow the County to adopt an actuarially-sound payment schedule that contributes an additional $270 million in the Pension Fund next fiscal year, specifically to help reduce the shortfall. From reducing expenditures by more than $110 million in the coming year to confronting our pension challenges head on, we are making tough and responsible decisions to stabilize our fiscal structure and not kick the can down the road to future generations.