Tuesday, July 1, 2008

An angry letter about 10.25 percent

Dear Chicago -

First off, thank you for being so great lately with the weather and the CTA. Seriously, a girl cannot complain. I did have awesome bus service and timing this weekend with my bloggy friends in town so thank you for cutting me a break. I'm not sure if you're the person to really be talking to about this, but just wanted to put it out there.

Moving on to the real purpose of this e-mail, I have again quite a bee in bonnet about something that I saw on the news last night - the official one percent increase in the Cook County sales tax, bringing it to 10.25 percent. 10.25 percent!!! Are you f*cking kidding me? That wasn't supposed to happen until November when you can rob the tourists who come here for their holiday shopping and feel so much cooler that their gift from the Disney Store came from Chicago. What the h*ll??

As you can imagine, other residents aren't overly thrilled about this either and the news caught some real gems on camera to illustrate that point too. But seriously, I love shopping and you're making it ten times harder for me to do so now. Now I have to start shopping online and shipping big ticket items to Wisconsin where sales tax is only 5.6 percent. I don't want to have to do that! I am glad that it does not apply to groceries though, that would be like breaking my ankle and then my knee to make sure I stay down.

And I'm even more upset because you're doing this to balance our city's budget, which we can never seem to have under control anyhow and to fund transit, which is archaic at best and also never seems to have enough funding. I love living here but you're making it really difficult for me. There are even rumors that the sales tax might have to be increased again too, seriously? Chicago wants to host the 2016 Olympics and we can't even balance our state budget or fully fund transit, yeah that's making us look real good.

Now I know people are going to tell me to "suck it up" and just deal with it and I will. In a month this will be a dead issue and in six months we'll all forget what 9 percent felt like in the pocketbook but it's the psychological response to double digit sales tax when no other city in the nation has that. I am writing this to be forthright with my feelings on this.

So I'm officially putting the county sales tax "on notice." Yes you're right up there with Harry & David and meteorologists. How do you feel about that? Think about it and get back to me.

Burn in h*ll,
Jessica

Note to readers: This might seem harsh and hyper emotional but I had to vent my feelings on this topic. 10.25 percent sales tax is ridiculous and honestly, it makes me *gasp* not want to shop anymore. I'm taking my gift cards home to Wisconsin with me this weekend so I can shop in peace there. So take that Chicago! You have won the war, but I want to win a few battles.

32 comments:

Dan Mega said...

Crook County indeed.

$100 million to build a museum in Grant Park, but no money to fix potholes.

Rachel said...

DALEY NEED MONEY!

Ashley D said...

I am so glad I live in NYC right now... no sales tax is amazing. :)

Renee said...

Gaaaaah... My upcoming move to Chicagoland is looking bleak.

Mandy said...

Holy $hit! Here in OH on things like clothes its 7%, WV is 6% so I typically head to the mall in PA where there is none! Sounds like online shopping will be the way to go.

thegoodnamesaretaken said...

This made me a little bit happy to still be living in Wisconsin. 10.25% really does sound crazy. I had no idea it was that high.

Stephanie said...

Wow, that is ridiculous! I think our tax is like 7.5%.

kay* said...

i would jump for joy for 10.5%!!! our taxes here are 14%!!!! they used to be 15% but last year the gov't gave us a 'break' and took off an entire percent! on some things we only pay the government tax (8% i think)...totally sucks!

Blaez said...

yikes. all the more reason for us to pinch every penny and move back to arkansas...

make the same amount of money and get more for it down there.

Maxie said...

That's insane. DC's is pretty close to yours at 10%, but I can't imagine paying either one. Freakin ridiculous.

wontletlifedefineme said...

I understand 10.25% is a lot when it used to be 9%, but just to put it into perspective, sales tax in the Netherlands is 19% right now, and it will go up to 20% soon, so it will be the same level throughout the European Union. Even worse, gas prices over here keep increasing because of all the taxes applied to it, and we now pay $2,70 per liter, which is $12,22 per gallon. There's a recession going on here with people not being able to spend enough money anymore, but still they're not planning to lower taxes.

wontletlifedefineme said...

I should add though that for groceries the sales tax is only 6%.

redstaplernation said...

VAT is creeping up on you, America!

Online it is. Sigh.

lifeintheleftlane said...

Man, that is awful. Can't someone out there cut us a little break? At least you can go shop in WI.

Kayleigh said...

Ummmm I am so teed off about this that I can barely bring myself to type this response. What in the hell is going on, Chicago? Your gas is pretty much (almost) the highest in the nation, and now this sales tax nonsense? What are you trying to do to us?!??!

Claire said...

I had this same, irate reaction. Then my brother - aka my calming influence - said, "Sister, it is an investment in our society. You don't think supporting our communities is worthwhile?"

Damn him. I don't have a retort that doesn't make me sound greedy and whiny.

L Sass said...

WAIT A MINUTE... I am moving to Evanston in T-30 days. Is this just Chicago proper or will I be subject to this ridiculous tax, too?!

Jenn said...

This just hurts. I thought 9% was bad. Well, it was. 10.25% is ridiculous and very upsetting. Now we have the highest gas in the nation as well as tax. It's things like this that really make me hate the city I live in. And I don't want to hate it!

Anonymous said...

Just have to add a correction -- this sales tax has been implemented by Cook County -- NOT the City of Chicago. You have referenced that the City of Chicago cannot balance their budget -- but this increase does not increase revenues for the City and City services, but for the County.

Elected officials get away with these things because Americans don't know the difference between things like City and County Government.

Anonymous said...

Also, Rachel responds to your blog and the recent county tax increase with --

"Daley Need Money."

Well, the head of the County is actually Stroger -- not the Mayor. There is a big difference.

Angela said...

I know how you feel! ANY sales tax in California absolutely SUCKS compared to none in Pennsylvania where I go to school. I want to be back there so I can shop and ONLY pay what the price tag says.

Rachel said...

yeah, but Daley always needs money, so the statement can still apply.

I don't let things like facts get in the way of me trying to be funny....

megkathleen said...

I completely understand the rant! Sales tax here is almost 10% and I take every chance I can to shop in Oregon, one of the few states with no sales tax.

Erin said...

The cook county sales tax IS ridiculous and you have every right to vent!

I also think that anonymous commenters are ridiculous, but that's just me.

surviving myself said...

Hahaha - quite a bee in bonnet

What are you - 85???

Alexa said...

shut the front door!!! thats nuts.

my home town is still at 6.75%. clevelands is a bit more but NOTHING like 10.25%

move to pennsylvania there is no tax at all! wouldn't that be nice right?

K said...

You beat me to the blog.. Grrr.. I must say this is up there along with my hatred for the museum in Grant Park and the "bean"

thatShortChick said...

10.25% is absolutely absurd.

i am so sorry for you and the entire residents of that county.

Tipp said...

Ahh writing bloggy letters always makes me feel so much better!

Princess Pointful said...

In Canada we have two sales taxes... federal and provincial (although some provinces get off the hook). Boooo to that.

Vanessa said...

That is amazingly high. It sure makes me think twice about Chicago as a possible relocation spot.

Colleen Snell said...

I couldn't agree more. At least fix the CTA with the extra cash? But I suspect that won't happen.