Cook County Judge Calls Use Tax Unconstitutional
- Oct 14, 2013 | Gail Cole
In other words, it is not okay for Cook County to impose a tax on tangible goods purchased outside the county.
The rate of sales tax in Cook County (home of Chicago) is high, and tax savvy purchasers can easily step across county lines to purchase big ticket items with less tax. The use tax, which imposed 0.75% on purchases exceeding $3,500, was an attempt to discourage that. Perhaps it would have, had Judge Cepero not placed a permanent injunction against the tax.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle was hoping the use tax could help balance the county’s budget. Now it cannot. For the time being, she is letting the issue drop. The FY 2014 Executive Budget Recommendation, introduced yesterday, contains “no new taxes, fines, or fees….” (Chicago Tribune).
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