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County board decreases proposed levy

Cook County Board of Commissioners. Photo by Joe Friedrichs
Cook County Board of Commissioners. Photo by Joe Friedrichs

In a move County Administrator Jeff Cadwell said will make the budgeting process very challenging, the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted on Tuesday, Dec. 13, to lower its levy by 10 percentage points, which equates to approximately $700,000.

A preliminary figure of 19.9 percent had been on the table as the deadline of Dec. 28 to set the levy approaches. After hearing a number of statements during Tuesday’s public comment period from Cook County residents concerned with the increase on their property taxes, Commissioner Frank Moe made a motion to set the levy at maximum of 9.9 percent. His motion was seconded by Commissioner Garry Gamble and supported by Commissioner Ginny Storlie. Commissioners Heidi Doo-Kirk and Jan Sivertson voted against lowering the proposed levy. 

As for where the reductions will come from, Commissioner Moe suggested cuts to increases in requests from non-mandate funding sources, and perhaps from these requests in general, which would equate to a two-percent decrease in the levy. He also suggested delaying any expenditures for the local highway department, a move that could cut the levy by more than 3 percent. Other expenditures could come from all of the county’s department heads as they look for any means to reduce expenses. 

The next meeting of the Cook County Board of Commissioners is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 20.