County won’t enact lease, sale taxes

Good news for the film industry, baaad news for smokers.

The good news: The Cook County Board of Commissioners Feb. 3 voted not to enact any type of lease tax, or to increase the sales tax by 14%. Faced with staunch opposition, Board president John Stroger withdrew his proposal for both taxes.

The 4% proposed lease tax, combined with the city’s lease or user’s tax, would have inflated the cost of leasing and purchasing film equipment to an unconscionable 10%.

The bad news: Smokers will be hit with a $1 tax (up from an 18-cent tax) on cigarettes.

Said Essanay’s Wayne Kubacki, “This is the best possible news we could’ve hoped for, since it means there won’t be an additional tax burden that would negatively impact our industry.”

Kubacki, incidentally, is a smoker and was willing to accept the bite on cigarettes if it meant reducing the two other proposed taxes to ashes.