Cook County Board of Commissioners

SP Intel Report- November 10, 2015

Chicagoland

Cook County Ammo Tax Ordinance To Be Heard Friday, November 13

Within yesterday’s SP Intel Report, I mentioned that Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle is proposing a tax on ammunition sales in the county. The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action reported on its website Monday:

Cook County Board of Commissioners has proposed Ordinance 15-6469, a proposal to impose a tax on ammunition, similar to proposals reported on in the past. This ordinance will be heard on Friday, November 13, at 1:00 p.m., by the Cook County Board of Commissioners Finance Committee.

This proposal would impose a $0.05/cartridge tax on all centerfire ammunition and a $0.01/cartridge tax on all rimfire ammunition, and would therefore penalize law-abiding gun owners for exercising their fundamental right to keep and bear arms. By definition, holders of a valid FOID card are the only persons legally permitted to purchase ammunition in Illinois, and therefore are the only persons subject to this tax – not the criminals responsible for the violence on the streets of Chicago…

That last bit sound familiar to readers of yesterday’s Intel Report? You can read the entire NRA-ILA piece on their website here.

National

Wisconsin Democrats Push To Ban ‘Semiautomatic Assault Weapons’

The push for more gun “control” is alive and well north of the Illinois state line too. From a press release published on the Urban Milwaukee website last Wednesday by Wisconsin State Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison):

MADISON –Today, Representative Subeck (D-Madison), along with Representatives Terese Berceau, Melissa Sargent and Chris Taylor, circulated an Assembly bill that would ban the transportation, purchase, possession, or transfer of semiautomatic assault weapons in Wisconsin.

“Our nation has watched as community after community has had to confront the tragedies that occur when weapons designed to kill large numbers of people quickly get into the hands of a dangerous person,” said Representative Lisa Subeck. “No Wisconsin community should ever have to face such a tragedy at the hands of someone armed with a semiautomatic assault weapon.”

Semiautomatic assault weapons are a class of firearms that are designed to kill large numbers of people quickly. They have been used in many high-profile shooting incidents, including the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut; the 2012 Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting; the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in that state; and the 1993 office shooting at the 101 California Street building in San Francisco.

“I can conceive of no legitimate reason that any citizen should need to own or use a semiautomatic assault weapon,” said Rep. Subeck…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Semiautomatic assault weapons.” Haven’t heard of that one before. The word wankers hard at work again. You know, on behalf of gun “safety.” You can read the entire press release on the Urban Milwaukee website here.

Former U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker Warns Real U.S. Debt Closer To $65 Trillion Than $18 Trillion

It’s been some time since I’ve blogged about former Comptroller General of the United States David M. Walker. Appointed by President Clinton, Walker served as Comptroller General and head of the Government Accountability Office from 1998 to 2008. While at the GAO, Walker warned Americans about the nation’s long-term fiscal challenges as part of the “Fiscal Wake-Up Tour.” Frustrated by Washington’s refusal to confront these challenges, Walker left the public sector on March 12, 2008. I noticed Mr. Walker was back in the headlines this past weekend. Bradford Richardson reported on The Hill website Saturday:

The former U.S. comptroller general says the real U.S. debt is closer to about $65 trillion than the oft-cited figure of $18 trillion.

Dave Walker, who headed the Government Accountability Office (GAO) under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, said when you add up all of the nation’s unfunded liabilities, the national debt is more than three times the number generally advertised.

“If you end up adding to that $18.5 trillion the unfunded civilian and military pensions and retiree healthcare, the additional underfunding for Social Security, the additional underfunding for Medicare, various commitments and contingencies that the federal government has, the real number is about $65 trillion rather than $18 trillion, and it’s growing automatically absent reforms,” Walker told host John Catsimatidis on “The Cats Roundtable” on New York’s AM-970 in an interview airing Sunday…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Whenever the national debt is brought up, I think about all those Pollyannas who go around saying the debt doesn’t matter. Give it a few more years when Washington and the Fed run out of road to kick the can. Then hold on for dear life

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Richardson, Bradford. “Ex-GAO head: US debt is three times more than you think.” The Hill. 7 Nov. 2015. (http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/259476-ex-gao-head-us-debt-is-three-times-more-than-you-think). 9 Nov. 2015.

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Size Of Cook County Sales Tax Hike Necessary?

No surprise here. Hal Dardick reported on the Chicago Tribune website yesterday:

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle persuaded just enough commissioners to approve a 1-percentage-point sales tax increase Wednesday — the culmination of a major political about-face, but a move she said was needed to bail out the county worker pension system.

Following weeks of one-on-one lobbying sessions by Preckwinkle, nine of the 17 commissioners voted to raise the county share of the sales tax to 1.75 percent. Add up the state, city and public transit portions, and the total sales tax rate in Chicago once again will hit 10.25 percent — one of the highest rates in the nation

Preckwinkle first rose to power in 2010 on a campaign pledge of repealing what remained of an identical sales tax increase under predecessor Todd Stroger…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Opponents of the sales tax hike claim the County didn’t perform enough belt-tightening before approving the measure. County Commissioner Bridget Gainer (10th District) penned on the Tribune website on July 1:

Don’t get me wrong, the county has a serious budget and pension cost gap, predicted to be $479 million. The proposed 1 percentage point increase in the sales tax would raise some $474 million annually.

But $130 million of the deficit goes away with pension reform. An additional $50 million in savings has already been identified by the budget staff. Yet another $50 million is in reach if we are finally willing to consolidate our redundant taxing bodies and duplicative services…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Back on December 5, 2013, I pointed out Illinois has the most units of local government of any state in the country at 6,963 local governments (U.S. Census Bureau).

It’s been reported Cook County is home to 1,300 of these taxing agencies alone.

The sales tax hike goes into effect starting January 1, 2016.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Dardick, Hal. “Cook County Board votes to raise sales tax.” Chicago Tribune. 15 July 2015. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-cook-county-sales-tax-increase-met-0716-20150715-story.html#page=1). 16 July 2015.

Gainer, Bridget. “Commentary: Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer: I won’t vote for a sales tax hike.” Chicago Tribune. 1 July 2015. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-cook-county-tax-preckwinkle-gainer-perspec-0702-jm-20150701-story.html). 16 July 2015.

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Cook County Public Pension Fix Could Mean Property Tax Hike

Blog readers in Cook County, Illinois, should prepare themselves for the possibility of higher property taxes shortly. Hal Dardick and Monique Garcia reported on the Chicago Tribune website Friday:

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is trying to revive a plan to overhaul government worker pensions, with supporters arguing the proposal is vastly different from changes to state retirement benefits recently struck down by the Illinois Supreme Court.

The proposal would cut benefits and raise retirement ages but also guarantee health care benefits for workers when they retire. It calls for the county to put almost $147 million more a year into the pension fund, though Preckwinkle continues to be vague about how she’ll fund that increase by repeatedly saying “all options are on the table.”

If the County Board chooses to foot the bill with a property tax increase, the average homeowner would pay up to $65 more a year starting in 2017, according to one internal county document the Tribune obtained when Preckwinkle sought the same legislation last year.

That measure was approved by the Senate last year but stalled in the House. It is now scheduled to be heard by a panel of House lawmakers next week…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Readers shouldn’t be surprised about the prospect of higher property taxes. I blogged back on January 13:

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle also gave a speech yesterday in which she hinted at county residents having to make future sacrifices. John Byrne reported on the Chicago Tribune website Monday:

Preckwinkle gave a speech to the City Club of Chicago about her first-term achievements and laid out a blueprint for her second four years in office. Asked afterward about the likelihood she will be forced to raise taxes, Preckwinkle said only that it will be “a challenge” to meet the county’s financial obligations.

“We have significant challenges, both around the spike in our debt obligations and our pension obligations, and my charge to our chief financial officer is that he has to do everything he can to be creative in figuring out how to address these problems,” she said…

Preckwinkle crafted a $4 billion budget for 2015 that includes no new taxes, fines or fees. She has warned that the 2016 budget will be far trickier to balance because debt payments will increase and the county could need to come up with $144 million more to pay into the county workers retirement system if she gets the pension fund changes she has asked for from the General Assembly.

“I can’t predict now, because we don’t even have a pension bill, how much it’s going to cost or what it’s going to take, but it’s going to be a real challenge, I’ll say that,” she said Monday.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Dardick, Hal and Garcia, Monique. “Preckwinkle tries again on Cook County pension changes.” Chicago Tribune. 15 May 2015. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-cook-county-pension-proposal-met-20150515-story.html). 17 May 2015.

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2015 Cook County Budget Holds Line On Taxes, Fines, And Fees- For Now

Cook County residents dodged a bullet this time around.

John Byrne and Hal Dardick reported on the Chicago Tribune website Friday:

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Friday won easy approval for her $4 billion 2015 budget proposal that includes no new taxes, fines or fees

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

For now. Byrne and Dardick added:

Preckwinkle earlier this year warned that the 2016 budget will be far more difficult to balance because debt payments will grow and the county will need to pay $144 million more into the county workers’ retirement system if she secures the pension fund changes she seeks from the General Assembly…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know I suspect those “new taxes, fines, or fees” are coming soon. I wrote back on May 22:

Last week, I blogged about the possibility of property and/or sales taxes going up soon in Cook County, Illinois. Dave McKinney and Brian Slodysko reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website on May 13 the hikes might occur as part of a pension “reform” bill.

Hal Dardick and Monique Garcia added on the Chicago Tribune website tonight:

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle hit Springfield Thursday to try to build support for changes to the county pension plan that she says would halt its ongoing decline toward insolvency.

She met with Senate President John Cullerton House Speaker Michael Madigan, both Chicago Democrats, and also Republican legislative leaders. “I think she’s got a good chance to pass this bill,” Madigan said afterward…

Although Preckwinkle has not identified how she would pay for her plan, it calls for the county to put $144 million a year into the pension fund. If funded with property taxes, that would cost the average homeowner up to $65 more a year, starting in 2017, according to one internal county document the Tribune obtained.

Preckwinkle, however, said Wednesday that she has closed even larger budget gaps through cuts and other, smaller scale tax and fee increases without raising property taxes — while also lowering the county sales tax by a half-cent on the dollar…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Yet, McKinney and Slodysko wrote last week:

County officials do not believe they can cut enough from the budget to cover the cost, the source said…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Only a matter of time now before those hikes kick in. As I also noted in that May post:

What’s that line I keep repeating on this blog?

Higher fees, fines, and taxes. Less government services.

As much as I hate saying it, that’s what Chicago and Cook County residents should be preparing themselves for down the road.

I’d say that probably applies to all Americans, come to think of it.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Byrne, John and Dardick, Hal. “Preckwinkle wins easy approval of $4 billion budget.” Chicago Tribune. 14 Nov. 2014. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-cook-county-budget-met-1115-20141114-story.html). 17 Nov. 2014.

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Cook County Gun Tax Update

This past Monday, a new gun tax went into effect in Cook County, Illinois.

Back on November 9, 2012, the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted 16 to 1 in approving Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s $2.95 billion budget for 2013- and a new $25 per gun “violence tax” on firearm purchases by law-abiding citizens to pay for the carnage caused by violent criminals.

On March 14, I blogged about a group of Chicago-area gun dealers and owners filing a lawsuit that day in Cook County Circuit Court, aiming to halt this tax on residents exercising a Constitutional right.

Were they successful?

Hal Dardick reported on the Chicago Tribune website Tuesday:

Late Friday, Circuit Judge David Atkins denied a motion for a temporary restraining order to prevent the tax from going into effect, writing that those who sued “have not demonstrated that this right is threatened by the tax.”

So the new $25 tax stands. For now.

Stay tuned…

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Dardick, Hal. “Cook County gun tax takes effect.” Chicago Tribune. 2 Apr. 2013. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-cook-county-gun-tax-0402-20130402,0,1386493.story). 2 Apr. 2013.

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Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013 Firearms, Government, Gun Rights, Legal No Comments

Cook County, Illinois, Sued For New Gun Tax

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

-Cook County, Illinois, Board President Toni Preckwinkle, on proposed new taxes on firearm and ammunition purchases within the county, October 18, 2012

On November 9, 2012, the Cook County, Illinois, Board of Commissioners voted 16 to 1 in approving Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s $2.95 billion budget for 2013- and a new $25 per gun “violence tax” on firearm purchases by law-abiding citizens to pay for the carnage caused by violent criminals.

On November 12, I blogged that there was talk of two lawsuits being drawn up against the county as a result of this tax on residents exercising a Constitutional right.

And Thursday night, I came across the following from Cook County Reporter Lisa Donovan on the Chicago Sun-Times website:

A group of Chicago area gun dealers and owners filed a lawsuit Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court, aiming to halt a new $25 tax on every gun purchase in Cook County…

“Proponents of the tax have admitted that its purpose is to curb the number of firearms in circulation. The Tax thus is intended to deter individuals from exercising their fundamental right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the Second and the Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and… the Illinois Constitution,” the lawsuit states.

The suit claims the tax infringes “on the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear, and law-abiding Retailers to sell, arms as guaranteed” by state and local constitutions.

The gun tax is scheduled to go into effect on April 1.

It’s been claimed that the new tax is also a gun registration scheme being carried out by the second most populous county in the United States. On November 23, 2012, I wrote:

From the website of Maxon Shooters Supplies & Indoor Range (one of the gun shops affected) in nearby Des Plaines:

Did you know the “Violence Tax” would give the city of Chicago & Cook County COMPLETE ACCESS to all records of firearm sales, ammunition and etc. This would ALLOW law enforcement agencies to ENTER YOUR HOME to inventory and audit all your firearms & ammunition WITHOUT A WARRANT!

With the recent passage of Cook County Ordinance Number 13-O-13, which requires “persons who own or possess firearms within Cook County to promptly report to the Cook County Sheriff the loss, theft, destruction or transfer of firearms,” gun registration- whether intended or not- is now in effect in the county. From section 58-190, “Report of transferred firearms:”

A person reporting the sale, transfer, inheritance, or other disposition of a firearm shall provide the following information:
(1) Owner name;
(2) Owner address;
(3) Owner Firearm Owner’s Identification Card number;
(4) Date of acquisition;
(5) Place of acquisition;
(6) Means of acquisition;
(7) Firearm type;
(8) Firearm serial number;
(9) Date of sale, transfer, inheritance or other disposition; and
(10) The name, address, and Firearm Owner’s Identification Card number of the transferee.

No doubt about it, gun registration now exists in Cook County, Illinois. And history shows that confiscation often follows.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Donovan, Lisa. “Gun owners, dealers sue over Cook County’s $25 tax on firearms.” Chicago Sun-Times. 14 Mar. 2013. (http://www.suntimes.com/news/18859382-418/gun-owners-dealers-sue-over-cook-countys-25-tax-on-firearms.html). 16 Mar. 2013.

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Cook County Gun Registration Begins

The City of Chicago requires firearms carried and possessed within city limits to be registered.

And yesterday, Cook County took a giant step in the same direction.

From the County website late in the afternoon Tuesday:

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle lauded the passage by the Cook County Board today of an ordinance requiring firearm owners to report the sale, loss, theft, destruction or transfer of firearms.

Individuals who sell, lose, destroy, transfer or have their firearm stolen in the County, are now required to report it to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office within 48 hours. Firearm owners will be required to report the make, model and serial number of the firearm, along with the date and location of purchase. Individuals who fail to comply will be subject to a $1,000 fine for the first violation. The fine will be $1,500 for each gun on the second offense and $2,000 for each subsequent violation.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“Individuals who sell… transfer… their firearm… in the County, are now required to report it to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office within 48 hours.”

That, my friends, is the start of a firearm registration program- whether it was intended to be official or not. The individual acquiring the firearm is now on the books of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office as being a gun owner.

And as history shows, gun registration often leads to confiscation.

The new ordinance goes into effect in August 2013.

You can read the entire Cook County announcement on the new gun “control” law on their website here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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