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County sets 17.5 percent levy increase

Cook County Board of Commissioners
Cook County Board of Commissioners

During a meeting of the Cook County Commissioners Tuesday, Dec. 12, the 2018 levy was set at an increase of 17.5 percent.

The motion to set the levy increase, which will increase local property taxes, was made by Commissioner Myron Bursheim. It was supported by Commissioners Ginny Storlie and Jan Sivertson. It passed on a 3-2 vote, with Commissioner Bobby Deschampe voting against because he felt the increase was too much. Commissioner Heidi Doo-Kirk voted against because she felt a 19.9 increase would better serve the county in the long term.

The choice to set the levy at 17.5 percent this year came after the board deliberated for months – and intensely for weeks – on how to reach a balanced budget for 2018. The levy will now allow for $9.5 million for the county to operate. A preliminary levy increase of 19.9 percent had been set in September, with the county’s budget committee working with those figures for months.

Since then there has been much public discourse about whether that is an adequate amount. At Tuesday’ s meeting of the commissioners, a total of six citizens spoke during the public comment period to share their thoughts—for and against—a levy increase in the high teens for 2018. 
 

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