Cook County Braces for Budget Deficit
Cook County officials are bracing for a $222 million deficit for fiscal year 2021. Based on the forecast released this summer, revenues are $129 million or 7 percent below the fiscal year 2020 adopted budget and expenses are $92.9 million or 5 percent above the fiscal year 2020 budget.
Budget variance drivers include:
Revenue Drivers ($129 million)
Expense Drivers ($92.9 million)
Non-property tax revenue declines of $73.8 million due to the lingering impact of COVID-19
- Sales taxes down by $30 million
- Amusement tax down by $15.5 million
- County use tax down by $15 million
Continued declines of $22.6 million in fee and fine revenues of
- Clerk of the Circuit Court revenues down by $11.3 million
- County Treasurer revenues down by $10 million
Continued increases in expenditures to address COVID-19 pandemic
- Contractual services up $7.9 million due in part to the need for enhanced screenings at county building entrances
- Supplies and materials up $1.3 million due to the continued need for COVID-19 supplies
Increased personnel expenditures
- Healthcare expenditures up $23.2 million (PPO rates up 12% and HMO rates up 9%)
- Salaries/wages up $13.5 million due to year-over-year increases in payroll
- Overtime up $31.2 million mainly due to increases in public safety offices
Cook County’s total fiscal year 2020 budget was $6.2 billion of which 67 percent is dedicated to healthcare and public safety.
President Toni Preckwinkle will present her executive budget recommendation in October. Departmental and countywide offices will present their budget proposals from October until November. The county board will negotiate, amend, and approve the budget proposal prior to the end of November.
Cook County Farm Bureau® will monitor the process and provide comments and input when appropriate.