Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

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.

   
  Eighteen of the 20 largest banks in the world and more than 50 foreign banks have offices in Cook County.
   
     
     
     



Taxing to coerce people to behave differently is a bad idea

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

by STEVE STANEK

So crime fighting has come to this: taxing bullets.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle proposes taxes on guns and bullets to fight crime, a higher tax on cigarettes to reduce smoking, and a tax on major purchases that local residents and businesses make outside the county to keep those purchases inside the county.

Wow, and civics teachers tell students that taxes are collected to fund government. Apparently they need to revise their lessons. As leader of the second-largest county government in the nation, Preckwinkle has made it clear she believes taxes are also collected to coerce people to behave as she prefers.

I make no apology for this, 
Preckwinkle told the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board. As [comedian] Chris Rock would say, if it costs a million dollars to society for every gunshot wound, we ought to charge a tax of a million dollars per bullet.

Well, if each bullet caused a gunshot wound, that might almost make sense. As it stands, its a funny thing for a comedian to say, and scary for a politician to quote it.

Likewise for the cigarette tax: [T]he higher we increase our cigarette prices, the more we discourage particularly young people from smoking and save [ourselves] the cost of treating people who are addicted to tobacco and nicotine for the rest of their lives.

I live in McHenry County. Within 5 miles of my house are five retail stores that sell guns, ammo or both. There also are two public shooting ranges, with another public shooting range recently approved by my local McHenry City Council, and a private shooting range nearly ready to open less than 2 miles from my house. We go years at a time with no firearms-related murders  without imposing special taxes on guns or bullets.

Many suburban and rural areas have gun owners, gun stores, and shooting ranges galore and almost no firearms-related violence.

In Cook County, violent drug gangs import illegal narcotics from outside the nation and sell them by the ton. Gangs with this ability certainly have no trouble getting firearms and ammunition outside legal channels. A tax wont stop criminals who are undeterred by threats of arrest, imprisonment, violence and death.

In 2006, Chicago raised its cigarette tax, and this year it estimates $18.7 million in cigarette tax revenue compared with $32.9 million before the tax hike. More smokers are buying their cigarettes on the black market or outside the county. A higher county tax would drive more to the black market or neighboring counties or states. And if a higher tax actually stopped people from smoking, the county would have to replace the lost cigarette tax revenue. The cigarette tax is causing revenue losses as it is.

Preckwinkle suggests cigarette taxes will prevent young people from taking up smoking, even though its already illegal for young people to smoke, and threats of arrest and imprisonment dont stop them from doing drugs. Some people do things they know are harmful, dangerous, and even deadly, despite taxes and harsh punishments imposed by government.

Cook County could lure back shoppers who make major purchases in neighboring counties by continuing to lower the sales tax and other local taxes. That would expand the tax base and boost local businesses.

Neighboring counties do well with lower taxes and spending. Cook County government lacks only the will to do the same. Imposing coercive and futile taxes wont solve that problem.



Recent Headlines

Editorial: What happened to the elk?
Friday, August 10, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wells Fargo to offer $15,000 grants to potential Cook County homebuyers
Thursday, August 09, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suit alleges Cook County detainees secretly monitored in bathrooms in holding cells at courthouses
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Half the elk at Busse Woods died last year, and officials arent sure why
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

A letter from Dr. Jay Shannon regarding gun violence and Stroger Hospital
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

As Evanston adapts to minimum wage hike, nearby towns say they have no plan to join in
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit could blast a $250 million hole in county budget
Monday, August 06, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Pappas: Automatic refunds of $19.5 million going to 53,000 homeowners because of property tax cuts
Monday, August 06, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Thousands of Cook County homeowners to receive property tax refunds
Monday, August 06, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Board Adopts Resolution Concerned With Foxconn Impacts
Thursday, August 02, 2018
Journal and Topics Media Group

FBI: Ex-employee alleges Dorothy Brown picked up cash payoffs at bagman's home
Thursday, August 02, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Demolition of MWRD dam to clear way for fish and recreation
Wednesday, August 01, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

EXCLUSIVE: Sheriff Tom Dart to pair inmates with pet dogs
Wednesday, August 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

County Minimum Wage, Sick Time Advisory Questions Approved for November Ballot
Wednesday, August 01, 2018
Journal and Topics Media Group

Editorial: Berrios and Kaegi: What a new assessor can and can't fix
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Your Personal Data May Be Exposed in Cook County Traffic Records
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
CBS Chicago

Garcia avoids public tiff with Preckwinkle, delays plan for county revenue forecasting commission
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County TIF districts bring in $1 billion
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County board moves to prevent repeat of pop tax fiasco
Friday, July 20, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County forest worker was going 76 mph in 30 mph zone, had THC in system during fatal crash while on job: prosecutors
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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