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Chicago’s Cook County preparing for $218 million budget deficit

Cook County, which contains the Chicago metro area, is projected to face a large $218 million budget shortfall in 2025. The deficit comes as the county is expected to have a $367 million budget surplus at the end of 2024 but will need to spend $9 billion next year. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle […]

Cook County, which contains the Chicago metro area, is projected to face a large $218 million budget shortfall in 2025. The deficit comes as the county is expected to have a $367 million budget surplus at the end of 2024 but will need to spend $9 billion next year.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has not said how they plan to fill the gap, but she said there will be no layoffs, program cuts, or tax hikes. A spokesperson said they will release a proposal in October.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle speaks during the funeral service for civil rights leader Timuel Black at First Unitarian Church of Chicago on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool)

“Despite a pandemic and fiscal challenges, we’ve protected pensions, expanded equity programming, improved our bond ratings, managed pandemic relief wisely and closed nearly $1 billion in budget gaps without raising taxes,” Preckwinkle said in a statement.


It is projected to be the county’s largest shortfall since 2021, per WTTW, when COVID-19 wreaked havoc on local economies throughout the country.

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The county’s health system was especially affected by the pandemic, and many positions there remain vacant.

Cook County is the second-most populous in the country after Los Angeles County.

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