Travel and Business Expenses Policy and Procedures

Service Information

Cook County has a fiduciary responsibility to ensure County resources are used responsibly and that individuals do not incur inappropriate or excessive expenses, or gain financially from the County. As such, all persons who travel on behalf of the County are fiscally responsible and accountable for all County expenditures.

The purpose of the County’s travel and business expense policy and procedures is to provide guidelines for payment of authorized travel expenses in an efficient, cost effective manner and to enable County travelers to successfully execute their local and non-local travel requirements at the lowest reasonable costs, resulting in the best value for the County.

This policy and procedure falls under the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to frequently asked questions regarding the sales tax exemption process. Please email with any questions not answered below.

    Before making purchases on behalf of the County, County employees should always notify vendors of the County’s tax-exempt status.

    When a tax-exempt certificate is required by vendors, County employees should request the County’s tax-exempt certificate from the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer.

    For a County tax-exempt certificate, please send the request in writing to and include:

    • Your name, title, and contact information
    • Vendor name, address, and contact information (including the email address of the vendor representative who will be verifying the County’s tax-exempt status)
    • A description of the goods and/or services being purchased.
    • The pre-tax price of the goods and/or services being purchased.

    If County employees need proof of the County’s tax-exempt status, they may request the County’s tax-exempt certificate in advance of expenditures from the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer. Purchasing goods or services from vendors who will not accept the County’s tax-exempt status is prohibited absent exigent circumstances.

    The County’s tax-exempt certificate is to be used exclusively to make purchases on behalf of Cook County by County employees and is not for personal use by individuals. Any purchases must be related to Cook County Official business and paid for through Cook County funds.

    Misuse of the County’s tax exemption to evade taxes, for which you are personally liable, is strictly prohibited and may result in discipline up to and including termination, as well as substantial penalties under state law.

    Procurement will send the tax-exempt certificate directly to the vendor. Once the tax-exempt certificate has been sent to the vendor, Procurement will respond to your email to confirm.

    Cook County’s tax-exempt status may apply to out of state purchases. Please contact the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer if you have questions regarding the applicability of the County’s tax-exempt status to an out-of-state purchase.