Cook County President: We’re going broke
Cook County’s board president is threatening cuts “affecting some of the county’s most vulnerable citizens” if Illinois taxpayers don’t give the county more money.
Toni Preckwinkle told the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board the county is struggling to make payroll because the state owes it $66 million.
Cook County’s payroll includes 21,969 full-time employees earning a collective $1.528 billion.
A 5 percent across-the-board pay cut would bridge a $66 million budget gap. But Preckwinkle isn’t proposing any pay cuts for Cook County employees.
In 2014, 3,001 (14 percent) Cook County employees earned more than $90,000 in compensation, before accounting for taxpayer-funded pension contributions.
Another 12,662 (58 percent) Cook County employees earned more than $60,000; and 21,914 of Cook County employees -- or 98 percent -- earned more than Cook County’s median income of $30,048.
The average Cook County employee earned $78,875 in 2014-- $69,937 in compensation and $8,938 in taxpayer-funded pension contribution. But that pension contribution still isn’t nearly enough.
Cook County’s employee pension was $6.25 billion in debt as of Dec. 31, 2014, or $3,165 per Cook County household. That’s a jump of 270 percent over 10 years; the debt was $2.305 billion on Dec. 31, 2005.