Cook County Should Create a Revenue Forecasting Commission​, Policy Team Says​

The BGA Policy team sent a letter to Cook County Board commissioners sharing its interest in a commission to independently forecast revenue, a proposal, which the board will discuss on Wednesday, July 25, 2018.

On July 25, 2018, the Cook County Board's finance committee will be discussing a proposal to create a revenue forecasting commission. Whether you are handling thousands or billions of dollars, a key component of budgeting is correctly predicting the amount of revenue that will be coming in over the next year and well into the future. For governmental bodies, revenue forecasting is not just a bureaucratic technicality, it is a critical and politically charged activity.​ For example, when a new tax is proposed supporters may predict it has a far larger effect on future revenue than opponents, who will want to argue that the tax creates more pain than benefit. Cook County saw such a heated debate play out in 2016 and 2017, when a tax on soda and sugary drinks was approved by the board and later reversed.

On July 19, 2018, the Better Government Association’s Policy team wrote to Cook County Board commissioners to ​support the ​creati​o​n​ of​ a Consensus Revenue Forecasting Commission for Cook County. Ordinance 18-2073, which establishes the commission, is a novel approach to address potential biases in local government budgeting​. Such a commission​ m​ight​ help temper political discourse around controversial revenue proposals.

Letters along with a summary of a model commission in King County, WA, were sent to all 17 commissioners of the Cook County Board.​ Below is the text of the policy team's letter.​

 
About the Author

Rachel L. Leven

Rachel Leven is the BGA’s policy manager focusing on Chicago and Cook County. Before joining the BGA, Leven ran communications for the City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG), a nationally renowned municipal oversight agency.