NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


July 2, 2008

Chicago residents now face the highest sales tax in the nation, at 10.25 percent, and are forced to pay more to buy just about everything.  On Tuesday, a 1 percent sales tax hike approved by the Cook County Board for its 2008 budget went into effect , says Joanie Lum of CBS 2 Chicago. 

A sales tax of 10.25 percent is significantly higher than the sales tax in neighboring counties and other major cities:

  • By comparison, the sales tax in the nearby Lake and Will counties is 7 percent, and in DuPage County, it's 7.25 percent.
  • The next highest rate in the country is in Memphis at 9.25 percent.
  • New York, Los Angeles and Dallas all have a sales tax of less than 8.3 percent, Phoenix has a tax of 6.3 percent, and Denver's sales tax is only 3.6 percent.

The hike is not sitting well with consumers or businesses:

  • Businesses are concerned that consumers will leave Cook County to make purchases.
  • Some businesses outside the county are capitalizing on the opportunity already, by posting large advertisements that say customers will not have to pay Cook Country sales tax.
  • Some residents of Palatine have been so upset by the tax hike that they have even talked about seceding from the county.

Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica (R-16th) plans to introduce a measure to repeal the sales tax at the next County Board meeting in mid-July, but he predicts getting his proposal to pass will be a challenge.  The Civic Federation also said the tax should be rescinded.

Source: Joanie Lum, "Cook County Tax Hike In Effect, Businesses Furious,", July 1, 2008.


Browse more articles on Tax and Spending Issues