Cook County wants more tax dollar$$$

Seemingly since time immemorial, the film industry has requested, begged, petitioned and agitated for relief from the city’s burdensome 6% transactional tax on equipment. To no avail, of course.

Now, get set for a big jolt in the evil tax department. The new Cook County $2.99 billion budget proposes a new 4% lease tax that would take effect in January. If approved, it’s expected to generate an estimated $47 million.

It would affect all personal property that may be leased, such as automobiles, computers and the rolling stock and vehicles essential to film production.

Chicago-based companies would then pay both city and county taxes, or 10% on all lease transactions.

The proposed budget also asks for an increase in the county’s portion of the sales tax, from .75% to 1%, bringing the total sales tax to 9% on merchandise purchased in Chicago, and to at least 8% in suburban Cook County.

There’s a ray of hope that the transactional tax proposal could be defeated. Nine “no” votes, or a majority of the County Board members, have been lined up. But as we all know too well, anything can happen in Chicago politics.