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Walker Leading Charge to Repeal Cook County Sales Tax Increase

Thu October 02 2008 2:16 pm  http://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=3341
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Candidate’s letter calls for suspension of tax in midst of national crisis

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL – After hearing from thousands of outraged taxpayers pushed over the edge by the Cook County sales tax increase, State Rep. Candidate Mark Walker (D-Arlington Heights) is leading the charge to repeal the tax, gathering petition signatures in support of legislation rolling back the increase and requiring more accountability to taxpayers.  Walker is also calling on Cook County Board President Todd Stroger to immediately suspend the tax while the nation is in economic crisis.

“Banks and insurance companies are failing.  The cost of goods is exploding.  Even the President admits we are in a national economic crisis.  Yet through it all, Todd Stroger and the do-nothing Cook County government continue to impose this regressive tax that has a very real, very negative impact,” Walker said.  “We need to repeal this tax to give some measure of relief to the middle class and we need a new law that requires real accountability from Cook County government.”

Walker today sent a letter to Stroger requesting the immediate repeal or suspension of the sales tax increase.  Walker said that recent economic turmoil, in addition to the high cost of fuel and food, has taken a toll on residents and Northwest Cook businesses.  Cook County government should make the difficult decisions, trim waste and prioritize spending, according to Walker, and needs to respond to the economic uncertainty in a way that helps taxpayers, rather than placing additional burdens on them.

“Cook County government is bloated and needs to go on a diet.  There are opportunities to cut bureaucracy and waste and they need to be explored before Todd Stroger goes back to taxpayers to take their money,” Walker continued.  “It’s also time people had the right to say ‘No, enough is enough. You can’t have any more.’

Since the sales tax went into affect on July 1, Walker has been gathering hundreds of signatures in support of House Bill 6669, recently introduced in the General Assembly.  The measure repeals the 1 percent July 1 tax hike and requires that all future sales tax increases be approved by voter referendum.  By requiring the Cook County Board to go directly to taxpayers before any increase can be implemented, it will shine the light on future attempts to fleece county residents to fund an already bloated county payroll.

Mark Walker, a businessman and military veteran, is a candidate for 66th District state representative

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