Cook County’s Proposed ‘Violence Tax’ On Shaky Ground

It’s official. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has presented her 2013 budget, and the Chicago Democrat is pushing a $25 tax on every firearm purchase and a nickel-per-bullet tax on ammunition purchases that take place within the county.

To give you an idea of what the proposed “violence tax” would look like as it concerns ammunition, a $22 525-round “value pack” of 22 LR ammo (a very popular purchase) would now cost $48.25, even before sales tax is applied. Like to buy bulk? An $85 2,100-round bulk purchase of the same ammunition would cost more than $200 after taxes.

(Editor’s note: Prices from Cabela’s, which operates a store in the Cook County portion of Hoffman Estates)

Taxing law-abiding gun owners in Cook County for the actions of criminals is bad enough, but to jack up the price of ammunition as to make it unaffordable for many? It will surely be argued that such a tax infringes on residents’ Second Amendment rights.

And President Preckwinkle’s response to a possible lawsuit? Don Babwin wrote on the Yahoo! News website yesterday:

Preckwinkle said she wasn’t worried about a lawsuit.

“You’re welcome to sue,” she said. “We’ve looked at this and we believe we can survive any challenge.”

“You’re welcome to sue.”

I have a feeling many Cook County residents would disagree with Ms. Preckwinkle here. They are becoming more knowledgeable of the dire financial situation the nation’s second most populous county is in, and might not relish the idea of handing over a big chunk of their hard-earned money to gun rights groups and their attorneys à la the City of Chicago and the Village of Oak Park because some gun “control” scheme that wasn’t of their making was found to be unconstitutional by the courts.

At this point, even some Cook County commissioners are questioning whether the proposed tax on guns and ammo will make it into the approved budget. Greg Hinz wrote in his blog yesterday on the Crain’s Chicago Business website:

County Commissioner John Fritchey termed the proposal overall “fundamentally sound and solid and honest.” But he predicted some of the revenue raisers will have trouble and are improperly being posed as social goods…

And the ammunition tax on a standard, 2,100-round box of .22 bullets would boost the price from $85 now to $190, he said, predicting that tax will have particular difficulty passing.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Alejandra Cancino and Hal Dardick mentioned Commissioner Larry Suffredin- a known gun “control” supporter out of Evanston- this morning on the Chicago Tribune website. Cancino and Dardick wrote:

He also said he’s not sure Preckwinkle can muster sufficient votes to pass the guns and ammunition tax because even some Democrats oppose it.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“Even some Democrats oppose it.”

What does that say about the proposed new tax?

Gun rights groups will have to work quickly to bury the proposed tax, as President Preckwinkle has indicated she’d like to have the budget enacted by mid-November, meaning the measure would cover the 12 months beginning December 1, 2012.

Stay tuned…

Sources:

Babwin, Don. “Official proposes bullet tax to curb Chicago crime.” Yahoo! News. 18 Oct. 2012. (http://news.yahoo.com/official-proposes-bullet-tax-curb-chicago-crime-070551870.html). 19 Oct. 2012.

Hinz, Greg. “Preckwinkle asks new sin, use taxes, but cuts spending and payroll in new budget.” Greg Hinz On Politics. 19 Oct. 2012. (http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20121018/BLOGS02/121019789/preckwinkle-asks-new-sin-use-taxes-but-cuts-spending-and-payroll-in). 19 Oct. 2012.

Cancino, Alejandra and Dardick, Hal. “Preckwinkle budget would raise cigarette, gun taxes.” Chicago Tribune. 19 Oct. 2012. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-preckwinkle-budget-1019-20121019,0,2638703,full.story). 19. Oct. 2012.

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