Chicago, IL – Today, Elise M. Houren, director of government relations for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, testified at Cook County’s public hearing on Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s proposed 2016 County budget.

The Chicagoland Chamber commends President Preckwinkle for her leadership and recognizes her efforts to craft a responsible FY2016 budget that is efficient and responsive to the citizens of Cook County, while creating a permanent, sustainable finance plan for the future.

However, the Chamber opposes the proposal to expand the amusement tax, which applies to cable TV and recreational activities such as bowling, golf and many for-profit sports leagues. Just months after passing a $434 million sales tax increase, the Chamber believes President Preckwinkle and the Cook County Board can find an alternative to requiring citizens to pay another $20.25 million in taxes. The Chamber believes the sales tax increase discussion should have been a part of the regular budget process for a reason: to avoid asking taxpayers for more money a second time. That is why the Chamber remains opposed to using any additional tax to plug the County’s budget hole.

“An expanded amusement tax will negatively impact affordable entertainment options for working and low-income families and our seniors in Cook County, while increasing the challenges that businesses face to deliver a highly desired consumer product for all communities,” Houren said. “This proposed expansion will be yet another tax increase that will impact the business community and all those who utilize cable TV as a reliable, easy, and affordable form of entertainment.”

The Chicagoland Chamber stands ready to be a responsible partner in moving the County forward, but remains opposed to the expansion of the amusement tax or any additional tax increase.

Click here to view Elise M. Houren’s full testimony.

About the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce combines the power of people with our legacy of leadership and business advocacy to drive a dynamic economy. We focus on delivering value for our members, making Chicagoland a world-class place to live and work. Visit