Chicago Will Have The Highest Sales Tax In The U.S. At 10.25%

Image courtesy of (Laurice Marier)

Sales taxes are variable from place to place and very visible, and they’re visible day-to-day as we dig in our pockets for change to pay a coffee tab of $3.14. Starting next year, Chicago will have the highest sales tax in the country, with state, county and city taxes adding up to 10.25%.

1% amounts to actual money if you’re a Cook County resident who wants to buy, say, a car. The increase will take effect on January 1, and raises the county’s sales tax levy from .75% to 1.75%.

It’s Cook County, which includes Chicago, that’s behind the tax hike. As you might imagine, the move was controversial: one county commissioner said that he was unable to sleep the night before the vote. Representatives of local retailers and the area Chamber of Commerce made the case for not increasing the sales tax, explaining that they fear shoppers will simply travel outside the county to make purchases.

Pastors, health care workers, county employees, and representatives of unions argued for the tax increase, which is intended to help the county deal with current and future county retiree pension costs. One commissioner proposed that the tax increase be rescinded if possible changes to county employee pensions go into effect.

Cook County Board votes to raise sales tax [Chicago Tribune]

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