Cook County encompasses the entire city of Chicago along with a number of suburbs. As of 2006, it was the second largest county by population in the country. And now, at 10.25%, it has the highest sales tax in the country.
The county board approved the tax raise back in February, coming into effect yesterday. It applies to clothes, alcohol, furniture, and restaurant food. Chicagoans could drive to neighboring counties where the tax isn’t so steep. But many Windy City residents have already cut back on driving in the face of the highest gas prices in the U.S. So many people are hoping to cut back where they can, make more purchases online, and do less shopping locally. Unfortunately, this makes small business owners nervous.
As for me personally, I’ve been saving where I can. Clipping coupons, buying in bulk, and even driving a bit out of my way to a good sale. You can check out The Chicago Traveler’s ideas on Chicago links, and things to do in Chicago.