Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
  Last year more people used the County's forest preserves than visited Yellowstone National Park.
   
     
     
     



Critics take aim at Preckwinkle bullet tax
Opponents say it won't stop violence, will cost law-abiding residents

Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Chicago Tribune
by Hal Dardick and John Byrne

ook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's idea of taxing guns and bullets to help balance the budget drew fire Tuesday from critics who argued it would punish law-abiding firearm owners while failing to quell violence.

The first-term board president's rollout of the bullet tax plan got off to a shaky start. Preckwinkle was light on details, saying she doesn't know what tax she would like to charge per bullet or handgun or how much revenue it would raise.

Preckwinkle also seemed unclear on state law governing the purchase of bullets. She told reporters that "ammunition sales are not regulated, which means even ammunition used in illegal gun activity can be purchased legally." In fact, an Illinois firearm owners identification card is required for ammunition purchases.

She sought to frame the potential tax increase as a response to the costs the county bears treating uninsured gunshot victims at emergency rooms and paying law enforcement and court personnel to cope with the effects of gun crime.

"Gun violence is a real problem for us. It's a problem for us in our criminal justice system, and it's a problem for us in our health care system, and I make no apologies for the proposal," Preckwinkle said.

Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, said the bullet tax would punish the wrong people.

"What's causing the violent crime in Chicago are the drug dealers, the gangs, and if you are going to put a tax on something, why don't you start taxing the gangs or the drug dealers." Pearson said. "They are just making law-abiding citizens pay for something that they didn't do. That's all this is going to do, and drive business out of Cook County, of course."

Pearson said his group would consider suing if the county adopts the tax.

County Commissioner Timothy Schneider said he's worried such a tax would do little other than hurt county businesses that sell those products. "On first blush, anything that takes Cook County out of a level playing field with other counties, I can't support," said Schneider, R-Streamwood.

And Commissioner Gregg Goslin, R-Glenview, wondered how much help an ammunition and gun tax would be in addressing the county's budget woes. "I can't think that kind of volume of purchases would raise any real revenue," Goslin said.

Still, Goslin said it's likely Preckwinkle will find a majority of commissioners to agree to the tax if she decides to introduce it.

The county faces a $115 million deficit next year, and Preckwinkle is set to introduce her budget next week. Preckwinkle offered figures that health care for a shooting victim costs $52,000 on average, and 70 percent of shooting victims have no insurance.

Democratic Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski of McCook also expressed skepticism about a bullet tax, saying he wants to see more cuts to the county's Health and Hospital System before the administration asks for new revenue. "If you pass the gun and ammo tax, you are not hurting the gangbangers on the street," he said.

Commissioner John Fritchey, D-Chicago, noted that he supported gun control initiatives as a state lawmaker, but added that he's "still not sure how taxing bullets is going to keep kids from being shot. If I can see a meaningful correlation between taxing the ammunition of law-abiding citizens and most of the people committing the violence in Chicago, then I'd be willing to consider this. But right now I haven't seen this."

Other commissioners wanted to hear specifics that so far are lacking from Preckwinkle.

"Any idea that will, one, help with the safety issue and help us pay for the tremendous cost to the county that gun violence causes, I'm very intrigued by it, but I need more details," said Commissioner Larry Suffredin, D-Evanston.



Recent Headlines

Cook County board to vote on new budget today
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
WGN Channel 9

Preckwinkle agrees to fewer Cook County job cuts; hundreds of layoffs still in works
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Teamsters Local 700 Files for Temporary Restraining Order Against Cook County Merit Board
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Special to suffredin.org

How Cook County finally got a new budget
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

ONTIVEROS: I think I miss that soda pop tax
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Budget Cuts Expected For Cook County Public Guardian’s Office
Monday, November 20, 2017
CBS Chicago

Ex-Cook County Board President Todd Stroger says he's running again
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

More than 300 Cook County employees will lose jobs to balance budget
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Jail Population Down 15 Percent After Bond Reforms
Monday, November 20, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Stroger vs. Preckwinkle: Hide your wallets.
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

After momentous week, prosecutor Kim Foxx says 'we have to right wrongs'
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Police union president slams Foxx, prosecutors after exonerations
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

MIHALOPOULOS: Will pop-tax anger unseat Preckwinkle, or fizzle out?
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

After Warning of 'Painful Cuts,' Preckwinkle to Unveil 2018 Budget Amendment
Friday, November 17, 2017
NBC Chicago

Watchdog: Quit stalling on Cook County justice system data
Friday, November 17, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

The Week in Review: Record Wave of Exonerations Tied to Rogue Cop
Friday, November 17, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Preckwinkle, some commissioners say enough votes for amended budget
Friday, November 17, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle: Nothing Pleasant About Hundreds Of Layoffs
Friday, November 17, 2017
CBS Chicago

Cook County commissioners get behind Preckwinkle's budget cuts
Friday, November 17, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Chuy Garcia Sole Cook County Commissioner Iffy on Budget
Friday, November 17, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP