Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle released the preliminary forecast for the County budget at a press availability yesterday morning, projecting a $174.3 million operating shortfall, a hike in expenditures, and declining revenues.

“While our costs keep growing, our revenues are flatlining or in some cases, declining,” Preckwinkle warned, mentioning lower than expected revenues from delinquent property taxes, cigarette taxes (due to Chicago’s decision to hike the smoking age to 21), court fees, and the sales tax.

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