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Preliminary FY2022 budget forecasts $121M deficit, 70% less than this year

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle released on Thursday, June 24, the preliminary forecast for the County’s Fiscal Year 2022 showing a projected gap of approximately $121.4 million, a sharp decline from the nearly $410 million projected gap in FY2021.

A combination of rebounding revenues, Federal relief and prudent financial management have contributed to the encouraging budget picture, according to county officials. The $121.4 million projected gap marks one of the smallest gaps since Preckwinkle took office.

The preliminary forecast report presents a mid-year projection of year-end revenues and expenses for FY2021 and an initial forecast for FY2022 revenues and expenses for the General Fund and Health Enterprise Fund, the County’s two major operating funds.

“It has not been easy, and it is far from over, but we’ve been deliberate in our COVID planning, provided hundreds of thousands of shots, pumped millions of dollars into local governments and economic development and were prudent in our budgeting,” Preckwinkle said. 


Preckwinkle announced a projected operating positive variance of nearly $60 million in the General Fund for the end of FY2021 driven primarily by increased county clerk fees due to a strong housing market, federal reimbursement for expenses and savings in salaries due to slower than anticipated hiring.

The FY2022 outlook includes a projected shortfall of $60.3 million in the General Fund, down from $222.2 million at the same time last year. Revenues are forecasted to be $80.5 million above the FY2021 adopted budget due to the expected economic rebound in a fully re-opened Illinois while expenses are forecasted to be $140.8 million above FY2021 adopted budget due to expected increases in personnel.

Despite the challenge of providing most of the charity care in the county, the health system expects a positive variance of $30.6 million for the end of FY2021 driven by a number of factors including increases in CountyCare membership, enhanced revenue collection, vendor contract savings, and savings from the timing of hiring. For FY2022, CCH expects a budget gap of $61.1 million driven by natural growth in pharmacy, lab and personnel expenses.

A virtual public hearing on the preliminary forecast will take place at 6 p.m. on July 7. Residents will have an opportunity to provide testimony and engage directly with the President’s office on their budget priorities. The President’s office will livestream the public hearing and residents can use social media to ask questions.

Beginning Thursday at 9 a.m., residents can visit the County’s website at http://www.cookcountyil.gov/Budget to view the preliminary forecast. Residents will also be able to submit budget questions at https://www.cookcountyil.gov/service/submit-budget-questions.

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