CHICAGO - Even after enacting a controversial new sales tax increase, Cook County, Ill., faces a growing structural deficit and will need to drum up additional new revenue in coming years to close the shortfall, chief financial officer Donna Dunnings said yesterday.

In a forceful defense of a recent 1% sales tax hike - pushed by county board President Todd Stroger - Dunnings said the tax hike would allow the county to withstand a rocky national economy and that without it, the county would be on a "ruinous path to fiscal collapse."

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