Cook County Board of Commissioners Finance Committee and Special Board Meeting
November 10, 2016
Significant Items Discussed/Approved:
After 3 hours of public testimony mixed with pros and cons, the Finance Committee considered the proposed one (1) cent per ounce tax on non-alcoholic beverages that contain any caloric or non-caloric sweetener. The proposal was amended twice: once based on an amendment noticed on the County’s web site, and once based on an amendment offered by Commissioner Gainer from the floor. The final version considered included a provision which reduces the volume on which the tax is based by 5% (increased from 2% in the first amendment) for powdered and syrup product to account for spillage and preparation of the beverage at the retail level. (Agenda Item 16-5931)
The Finance Committee did not recommend that the Board pass this tax since the vote ended in an 8-8 tie. At the subsequent Special Board Meeting, Commissioner Daley, the chair of the Finance Committee, moved the passage of the item, notwithstanding the failure of the Committee to recommend passage. Again the Board vote was 8 to 8, which then allowed the President of the Board the ability to cast a vote to break the tie.
Voting for: Commissioners Arroyo, Butler, Daley, Garcia, Moody, Moore, Sims, Suffredin, and President Preckwinkle.
Voting against: Commissioners Boykin, Fritchey, Gainer, Goslin, Morrison, Schneider, Silvestri, and Tobolski.
Commissioner Steele was absent, having had surgery earlier in the week and now recovering at home.
Had this tax not passed, there would have been a budget hole that would have needed to have been filled with either additional revenues or additional expense cuts. Chairman Daley said that there were no revenue proposals that had been offered, and Commissioners have been talking about adding expenses for additional public defenders and maintaining some positions that had been proposed to be eliminated.
The full budget, along with amendments, will be considered on Tuesday, November 15 at meetings of the Finance Committee and Board.
Observer: Priscilla Mims
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