Ward Room
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Cook County Votes to Raise Alcohol Tax 50%

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Booze Gets Pricier in Cook County

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UPDATE: The Cook County Board voted 12-5 Monday to hike alcohol taxes 50 percent. 

The proposal came straight from president Toni Preckwinkle's budget, and has been pitched as a a needed revenue generator for the county. Bar owners, however, say that would decrease their revenue and lead to job cuts.  

Small  business owners and tax opponents joined Alderman Brendan Reilly (42nd) in a roundtable discussion about the proposal Sunday night at Butch McGuire's on Division Street. 

Ald. Reilly said he hopes commissioners can come up with another solution to balance the budget.

If approved, this could become the fourth alcohol tax hike affecting Chicago since 2005.

Last week, Preckwinkle said the tax increase would be offset by a decrease in the sales tax.

Commissioner John Fritchey said Sunday that he would rather see a decriminalization of marijuana over a higher tax on alcohol.

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