I would be remiss if I didn't name Cook County Board President Todd "the Toddler" Stroger as the bastard of July 1st. Today his 1% county sales tax increase went into effect. One percent doesn't sound like much, but it makes Chicago sales taxes the highest of any major U.S. city.
Want to go shopping for a new wardrobe on Michigan Avenue? Now you'll have to pay 10.25% sales tax on your purchase. In the face of such depressing news, some people will go out for a nice dinner to raise their spirits. They'll have to pay the county's new tax, too. And speaking of spirits, you can't even drown your sorrows in booze without handing over that extra 1% tithe to the Toddler.
Stroger's timing is impeccable. Sales taxes are going up at a time when gas prices are high enough to discourage residents from traveling outside the county to make their purchases. And with the economy in the toilet (if you care to argue that point with me, buzz off), what better time to stick it to Cook County residents?
Honorary bastard awards go to the fools who voted for the incapacitated incumbent, Todd's dad, in the 2006 Democratic primary instead of Forrest Claypool, who wouldn't have raised taxes (I could say the same for those who chose Stroger over Tony Peraica in the general election, but Peraica is kind of a goof with his own set of issues). The Tribune suggests that we hunt down everyone responsible and force them to repent or run them out of office.