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:  
   
 
 

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

   
 

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

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



Cook County Bullet Tax: Toni Preckwinkle Proposes 'Violence Tax' To Curb Crime

Thursday, October 18, 2012

by DON BABWIN

CHICAGO -- As Chicago struggles to quell gang violence that has contributed to a jump in homicides, a top elected official wants to tax the sale of every bullet and firearm – an effort even she acknowledges could spark a legal challenge.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will submit a budget proposal Thursday that calls for a tax of a nickel for each bullet and $25 for each firearm sold in the nation's second-largest county, which encompasses Chicago.

Preckwinkle's office estimates the tax will generate about $1 million a year, money that would be used for various county services including medical care for gunshot victims. Law enforcement officials would not have to pay the tax, but the office said it would apply to 40 federally licensed gun dealers in the county.

Through last week, the city reported 409 homicides this year compared to 324 during the same period in 2011. Although the violence still doesn't approach the nearly 900 homicides a year Chicago averaged in the 1990s, officials say gang violence was largely to blame for a rash of shootings earlier this year.

Preckwinkle insists the ordinance is far more about addressing gun violence than raising money for a county that faces a deficit of more than $100 million next year.

"We think that's an appropriate thing to do, especially in the light of the gun violence we struggle to deal with in our criminal justice system and our public health system," she told a local newspaper editorial board this week, according to a transcript of the meeting provided by her office. "The legal gun shops in suburban Cook County are a conduit for crimes in Chicago. There's no way around it."

Preckwinkle declined to speak with The Associated Press ahead of the announcement Thursday, but her spokeswoman Kristen Mack confirmed the details of the plan.

Mack said the office has found no other local jurisdiction in the nation that has imposed a tax on bullets, even though several have considered it. Legislation on such a tax was previously introduced by state lawmakers in Springfield, but it was never been voted on, she said.

Richard Pearson, the executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, scoffs at such talk, saying the tax wouldn't do anything to address gang violence but would harm local businesses and law-abiding citizens.

"If she wants to get to the people causing all the problems she ought to put a tax on street gangs," he said. "All this is going to do is drive business out of Cook County, into other counties, Indiana and Wisconsin."

One suburban gun shop owner agreed, saying that his customers, many of whom are hunters and police officers, will simply go elsewhere.

"Who's going to come to Tinley Park to buy ammunition," said Fred Lutger, the owner of Freddie Bear Sport in that suburban Chicago community.

And, said Lutger of that money going toward treating gunshot victims, "Why should be paying for gang bangers shooting each other? You're taxing law-abiding citizens for what criminals are doing."

Gun rights advocates spent years challenging in court Chicago's handgun ban, which was ultimately overturned in 2010 by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Preckwinkle's proposal has caught the attention of gun rights advocates across the nation, according a national firearms civil rights organization.

"This is putting the budget woes of Cook County on the backs of gun owners," said Dave Workman, of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. "It's not the law abiding citizens stacking bodies like cord wood in Chicago, it's the bad guys."

Workman said that while it is too early to say what the response might be to a proposal that may or may not be improved, "I could envision a coalition of different groups saying `Wait a minute, you are making us financially responsible for the Cook County government's inability to hold down spending."

In Illinois, Lutger said a lawsuit was certain and Pearson said he and others started talking about a legal challenge as soon as they heard Preckwinkle was considering the tax.

Even Preckwinkle seemed resigned to a legal challenge in her comments to the newspaper board.

"You can't make decisions based on the basis of whether or not somebody's going to sue you or then you'll never do anything," she said.



Recent Headlines

Cook County offers two tax exemptions for seniors
Saturday, January 19, 2019
Homewood Flossmore Chronicle

Will political infighting delay your Cook County property tax assessment appeals?
Friday, January 18, 2019
Daily Herald

Cook County offers $8.5 million in transportation grants
Friday, January 18, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Pritzker signs ‘long overdue’ gun dealer licensing bill, vows ‘more work to do’
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Health Opens New Health Center in Arlington Heights
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Daily Herald

A look at other criminal cases where Cook County judges cleared Chicago cops
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

3 Chicago cops found not guilty in Laquan McDonald cover-up conspiracy case
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Old Cook County Hospital on track to become next city landmark
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Free Radioactive Radon Test Kits From Cook County
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Toni Preckwinkle and county watchdog at odds over political travel reimbursements
Friday, January 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

2 Cook County judges — one cleared of gun charge, one reassigned for anger management — to return to bench at criminal court
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

It's been a bad decade for property taxes
Wednesday, January 09, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Bond court reform has not put more violent offenders back on the street
Wednesday, January 09, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Glenview pushes minimum wage, paid sick leave discussion to next week
Tuesday, January 08, 2019
Chicago Tribune

How Fritz Kaegi Plans to Transform the Cook County Assessor’s Office
Friday, January 04, 2019
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Cook County Health recognizes Cervical Health Awareness Month
Friday, January 04, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

2 neighborhood courthouses close: 'You’re discouraging citizens from going to court'
Friday, January 04, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Campaign money tied to Ald. Edward Burke’s alleged extortion scheme was intended for County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, sources say
Thursday, January 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County, parking operators in dispute over possibly millions in back taxes that could leave consumers pinched
Thursday, January 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle pursues back taxes from parking lot operators
Wednesday, January 02, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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