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Article updated: 1/1/2013 11:31 PM

Stroger sales tax hike rolled back

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SPRINGFIELD -- Cook County shoppers could save a little money on their purchases starting Tuesday.

The final one-quarter percent of an infamous sales tax increase championed by former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger rolls back, moving the county's share of local sales taxes back to 0.75 percent.

The Cook County Board approved a budget that included the sales tax drop. Eliminating Stroger's tax hike has been a key goal of current Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

"We are rolling back the sales tax, a promise I made before taking office and one that I'm proud to have kept," Preckwinkle said when the budget was approved.

Stroger pushed through the sales tax increase of 1 percentage point in 2008. The plan was controversial from the start, with suburban merchants in particular saying it pushed buyers across county lines where sales taxes were lower.

A year later, the Cook County Board voted to cut that hike in half. And now, the increase will be gone altogether, putting the county's sales tax back to 2008 levels.

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