Chicago's Cook County has just hiked its sales tax rate to 10.25%, and residents are predictably upset. What isn't mentioned in the article is the role that high gas prices play in enabling this sort of tax hike.

It will definitely be cheaper to shop in the suburbs. Buy a $500 TV in DuPage County where the taxes are 6.75 percent and you'll pay $534, in Chicago where the taxes are 9 percent, you'll pay $545 for that same television, and when taxes increase to 10.25 percent, you'll pay $551.

For that reason, businesses are concerned that consumers will leave Cook County to make purchases.

Maybe, but the higher gas prices are they more expensive it becomes to leave the county to shop. In essence, Cook County is taking advantage of high gas prices to gouge its residents and further empower the county government.

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