Layoffs 'Inevitable' if Cook County Soda Tax Isn't Reinstated, Preckwinkle Says - NBC Chicago
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Layoffs 'Inevitable' if Cook County Soda Tax Isn't Reinstated, Preckwinkle Says

The new tax, which was set to take effect July 1, would have raised $67.5 million in new revenue for the county by Nov. 30, according to county estimates

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Unless a controversial new Cook County tax on sugary beverages is reinstituted, all county agencies will be expected to make serious spending cuts, several agency heads say.

    (Published Friday, July 7, 2017)

    Layoff notices could go out next week to at least 1,100 workers if Cook County's tax on sugary beverages isn't reinstated, the county's board president said Tuesday.

    Toni Preckwinkle sent a letter last week to county agency heads warning their budgets would need to be slashed by 10 percent before Aug. 1 if the soda tax, currently blocked by a temporary restraining order, is not reinstated.

    The new tax, which was set to take effect July 1, would have raised $67.5 million in new revenue for the county by Nov. 30, according to county estimates.

    The next hearing on the tax is scheduled for Wednesday, but with that money off the table for now, county agencies are preparing for spending cuts that would include massive lay-offs.

    Preckwinkle told reporters Tuesday that layoffs are "inevitable" if the tax doesn't go through.

    According to a memo sent out by Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, as many as 925 employees of the department could be laid off as a result of spending cuts.

    “The proposed layoffs amounted to approximately 17 percent of our work force,” Dart said.

    Meanwhile, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office is looking at drastic cuts as well. State’s Attorney Kim Foxx told CBS that she expects that she would have to lay off at least 100 prosecutors and dozens of administrative staffers if the revenue from the soda tax isn’t replaced.

    Up to 2,600 county employees could be laid off if the tax is not back in effect by December, according to reports. 

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