Chicago Suburb Might Secede From County to Avoid High Sales Tax

A Chicago suburb is considering seceding from its county after board leaders approved a steep sales tax increase to meet budget needs.

Palatine wants to explore seceding from Cook County to avoid the double-digit sales tax that could push business elsewhere.

The board on Saturday approved the 1 percent increase, which drives Cook County's overall sales tax to double digits, 10.25 percent.

Cook County Board President Todd Stroger pushed the higher sales tax in the 2008 budget to help account for a budget shortfall. The sales tax would raise the county's sales tax to double digits, more than any other major U.S. city.

A nearby county has a 6.25 percent sales tax, which scares small-business owners like Nancy Martino. Martino runs a hardware store in Palatine.

"People will make a choice to go somewhere else," she said. "I couldn't believe that they allowed it to happen."

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