County Wants to Tax Vice, Bad Habit and Weaponry

Video gambling, cigarettes, guns and ammo would be taxed under Cook County's new budget plan. Golf and picnic permits at the Forest Preserve would cost more, too.

Targeting smokers, gun owners and gamblers, a slew of new and unusual taxes and fees designed to raise $43 million are proposed for Cook County's $2.95 billion 2013 budget.

Board President Tony Preckwinkle released her spending plan Thursday, saying $50 million in spending cuts are planned, too, and 462 open county jobs would be eliminated.

But public attention will focus on the taxes:

  • $1-a-pack more on cigarettes; the county tax is already $2 a pack
  • $800 on every video gambling machine
  • $25 on every gun sold
  • 5 cents on every bullet sold
  • $5 fee for every "confirmation of death" letter issued by the county morgue

The proposed budget avoids a property tax hike. Nine of 17 commissioners need to vote for Preckwinkle's budget for it to pass.

The county projects $25 million would be raised via the cigarette tax. Today, the total federal, state and local tax levied on a pack of cigarettes is $4.67 in Chicago and $3.99 in the Cook County suburbs. 

The tax on guns and ammo — dubbed a "violence tax" by some — would raise $1 million through the county's 40 registered firearms dealers.

"The violence in Cook County is devastating and the wide availability of ammunition only exacerbates the problem," Preckwinkle said Thursday in announcing her budget to county commissioners. "Twenty-nine percent of the illegal guns used in crimes and recovered by the Chicago Police Department were purchased legally in Cook County. This violence has a real impact on the Cook County Health and Hospital System."

The first-term Democrat pointed out that trauma care for gunshot victims costs $52,000, on average, and most people who visit Cook County's emergency rooms with bullet wounds don't have insurance.

In 2011, 670 shooting victims were treated in county hospitals, Preckwinkle said.

"Why should we be paying for gang bangers shooting each other?" asked the owner of Freddie Bear Sport, a guns and ammo dealer in Tinley Park. "You're taxing law-abiding citizens for what criminals are doing."

Lutger told the Associated Press his customers will simply go elsewhere if they have to pay taxes on their guns and bullets.

"Who's going to come to Tinley Park to buy ammunition?" Lutger said.

Forty-five Cook County businesses have video gaming licenses, according to the Illinois Gaming Board, and Preckwinkle wants $800 per year for each machine, projecting $1.3 million in annual revenue.

"These machines generate almost $800 a day – we’re asking for $800 per year. They keep their other 364 days of revenue. We use that one day’s revenue to help mitigate the impact of the associated costs of crime, health, addiction," Preckwinkle said.

A new state law that went into effect this month allows communities to approve video gaming in their towns, but state lawmakers never envisioned Cook County would try to impose this tax, according to a report from IllinoisWatchdog.org.

State Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, a longtime advocate of expanded gambling in Illinois, said Cook County's video gaming tax would be a "job killer" for local bars and restaurants that want to add the devices to their business plans.

If taxes are certain, so is death. And Preckwinkle found a way to get a few bucks via the dead souls who pass through the county morgue. 

Among the budget's various smaller proposed fees, there's a $5 charge for every "confirmation of death" letter, according to Clout Street on ChicagoTribune.com. Such fees would raise about half a million dollars.

And over at the Cook County Forest Preserve, a separate county taxing body, there are proposals to hike fees for the first time in seven years on picnic permits and rounds of golf.

The cost of the most popular county picnic permit for groups of 100 people or less rises from $35 to $37. The price of a permit for an event with more than 1,000 people will increase from $760 to $960. 

A round of golf at nine county golf courses will cost $1 more. But at George W. Dunne National in Oak Forest, a premier 18-hole course, the fee would be $49, $2 more than it is today.

This post is published on the Patch network throughout Cook County.

More Info: Toni Preckwinkle's full budget address is on the Cook County government blog.


What do you think? Are you ready to pay more to smoke, gamble, golf, picnic and keep your guns loaded? Share your views. 


BUTCH October 22, 2012 at 06:38 PM
hey MADMAN JOHNNY what did u do in the War? since u are so pro colonialism u must have a resume full of OPERATIONS in the wars for DRUGS-TERROR ZIONIST JEWS or were u a CHENEY log cabin hero DUBYA deserter or are u a Mormon book OF JOY Binder Holder? Goddess or Queen MOMMY said" Mormon missionary work is just like war" Why do the LDS insist on sending these brave missionary's to PARIS? TAG the tough guy missed IRAQ and the Hindu KUSH while daddy during VIETNAM was pictured on Omaha 20 YEARS AFTER THE WAR with a love message to the goddess. Now the BANKSTERS get their socialism and TAG'S is given by TWIT A pvt equity firm filled with MEDICARE rip offs like the scooter store and sun capital partners and lots of firms under investigation by the Fed are linked to TWIT-and TAG they almost single handily are the reason along with BANKSTER SOCIALISM why all governments are cash starved aka BAIN accounting schemes that not only avoids and dodge taxes they ob the healthcare system putting a bigger burden on the tax payers and we get to read yer outhouse. reasons on colonialism. TWIT is going around u din't build it ' now we know the COMMIES DID moron!
anthony October 22, 2012 at 07:14 PM
BUTCH you are a tireless champion advocate of your agenda.. No one can say you are not passionate
Dave Wagner October 22, 2012 at 07:41 PM
I wish someone, anyone, would provide the proof that the government creates jobs that actually benefit the country as a whole. It takes tax dollars to pay for these jobs, hence taxes go up. So much has been said about "fair share". How is it that some folks pay absolutely 0 dollars in taxes and get refunds? Is that a fair share? Just because someone makes a bunch of money doesn't mean they should support a bunch of people that choose to be unemployed. I am NOT talking about those who try and can't find work. I am NOT talking about those who are unable to work. I am NOT talking about those who bust their asses and still can't make ends meet. I am talking about those who live off the system. I am talking about those college grads that can't find work in their field of study, like 16th Century English Poetry, philosophy in general etc. Not slamming the fields of study, but wondering what they thought they might be doing with the degree once they got it. It is surely easier to blame the guy with money for your own problems than it is to face facts. Never has a major tax increase on any 'class' resulted in additional revenues to the federal treasury. What is the ultimate end when government keeps taking more and more? It is NOT a bottomless hole of money. The government can't just print more. Sooner or later they have to pay back debt. Where does it end?
Mike Fangman October 22, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Do you even remember what your TAXES pay for? Here's a partial list: police, fire departments, clean drinking water, public schools, parks and clean air.
Mike Fangman October 22, 2012 at 08:09 PM
We've tried creating jobs by giving tax breaks to the "job creators" like Romney, and they have...in places like China and Mexico, where they don't have bothersome things like LABOR UNIONS and ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS.
anthony October 22, 2012 at 08:20 PM
It ends when IL is turned into WI... Because its not the welfare recipient bankrupting the system... Its about the city county and state workers having a free rides,multiple pensions, engaging in criminal contracts etc etc etc... The problem is crony nepotism with tribal roots... Its not the guy with the money Its the guy that drinks Pabst and drives a 2003 ford Taurus making 100k+ a year Its drew Peterson collecting 300k a year in jail ... Its corporations using mafia applications ... If one understands "money" principles in regards to federal banking this bottomless pit of money = the system of lending in place that without debt there would be no money... Sounds like Abbott and Costello it is ... Early voting starts tomorrow.... Vote for Romney is a vote against unions state and county jobs... A vote to streamline .... A vote for Obama is a vote for Hope, Future,and Social change.. Its about lifestyles.... The redistribution of the wealth is going to happen ...I been hearing from both sides committees and groups That the old simply do not spend as much as the young thus for a host of reasons the wealth must be taken from them.... dumbing the point but its there
Tired of the B.S. October 22, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Here are a few things you missed on you list: wasteful spending bloated salaries double dip pensions career politicians career welfare recipients I never said that I am against paying some taxes. I am against the fact that I have to keep paying MORE. Can you tell me one tax or fee that you have to pay to the government that has not gone up in the last couple of years? Have you received better police protection or more firemen or cleaner drinking water or better schools for your increased investment in taxes?
BUTCH October 22, 2012 at 10:54 PM
WILLARD said" he will create 12 million jobs" that was before he said government does not create jobs, he was right on both counts more than 12 million jobs have been created by BAIN and his fellow travelers in RED COMMUNIST CHINA, Now in America and Murka not much is going on because the TAX dodgers and traitors like TWIT and JACK WELCH the parasites and their friends are sitting on 5 trillion in investments and can longer wash it in MACAU, NOW REMEMBER most of the jobs in CHINA were non union many RED STATE and pablum eating low info voters who still drink the Kool Aid, the highest paying jobs TWIT created in RED CHINA PAYS $1.19 per hr ave 99 cents it looks like the end is near for a lot of us Dave, they closed 50,000 factory's and sent the low and hi tech jobs to the RED ARMY, It is in yer economic interest and every American that ROBME be sent packing and we get into the corp are people my friend BS it only can happen if he is sent back to his CAYMAN or RED CHINA HOMELAND, a NEW non corporate AG would help a lot also,
Mad John October 23, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Hi Ya, Butchie... It is refreshing to have such a colorful descriptive dialog. I do enjoy getting on the last nerve of a Left-leaning progressive and witnessing a meltdown. You touched on so many points, I actually lost count. However I did count just how many made sense and how many actual informed rational views... and that would be none. When you regain your composure and decide on one specific item that you think you know enough about please let me know. I will be more than happy to discuss it rationally without the unnecessary blathering. K?
BUTCH October 23, 2012 at 04:17 AM
MAD Johnny start with wiping the butt with the constitution and other events from Palm Beach Cnty Fla and then Solamere Capital partners where the BAIN VOTING MACHINES will place as important part of the election as the Medicare robber governor of Fla and where all the magic underwear family have a interest including off shore banking networks that resemble BCCI OPERATIONS THAT U MUST BE FAMILIAR WITH? And if time permits the austerity of fear and issues never talked about by the chicken poop candidates and corporate media .
BUTCH October 23, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Willard tonight actually reduced the number of jobs he said the GOVERNMENT does not crate to 9 MILLION, TO Johnny and the T PARTY that makes perfectly good sense!
BUTCH October 23, 2012 at 05:58 PM
mad johnny how come a VIET vet has no outrage on the treatment and care of his buddies at Reed and other military and VA INSTITUTIONS during the deserters 8 years in office had a DEM VET from PA not brought it to light Robme last night would have taken ownership on the outrage he alone is responsible for the practice of stopping the neglect and worse. I myself had similar experiences with SSI for a family member and feel your pain now on the constitution I assume u are talking about the USA not CSA? Last night ROBME was running against WOODROW WILSON he and u all are incredible potted plants for looters robbers and traitors not NAZI or Socialist BUT COMMIE-NAZI and TPARTY!
BUTCH October 23, 2012 at 06:03 PM
i HEARD FROM TWIT his REAL economic plan he told us about the incredible potential for LATIN AMERICA WOW going back to the Contra and Arena killers days they are going to do the low tech 50cents a hr in SALVADOR-PANAMA NICAR while doing the HIGH TECH in the peoples paradise where they pay a ave of 99 cents a hr
Mad John October 24, 2012 at 03:42 AM
To Johnny Sisson I'd like to answer your questions. The war was unjustified as the cause was not slavery but taxes. In 1860 just after being elected Lincoln signed the Morrill Tariff Act. Ths raised taxes on the Southern agricultural states by anywhere from 20 to 47%! Considering that the Southern States comprised only about 30% of the population this act they would be paying just over 80% of the nation's taxes. The North having the most of industry and wealth wanted the south to pay because they had slaves instead of employees. Also the North didn't like the south selling cotton internationally at a good profit and they wanted it. There is alot more but I cannot be writing a book. Look up the Morill Tarriff Act. also Lincoln's illegal suspension of the Constitutional right of Habeus Corpus. To answer all of your questions appropriately will take more space than we have here. But, I can answer all of your queries.
Tired of the B.S. October 24, 2012 at 03:50 AM
Oh yeah, Butch is passionate, about what, I have no idea!
Mad John October 24, 2012 at 04:04 AM
Butchie, my friend, don't blow a gasket. You would ruin my entertainment value on this site. I truely enjoy trying to digest the convoluted rhetoric you post. I love a good challenge. Besides I wasn't a draft dodger, I enlisted and served on active duty for twelve years, I fought to defend your privledge to sit here and cal me names. Getting shot ruins your whole day. but I fooled them, I survived. Even if those that I thought were my friends, back here at home, would rather that I died over there. Recently I've had the pleasure of being chastized by a Liberal O supporter in a public meeting that I was too bad that I came back from Vietnam and that I am a racist to boot. I just smiled at her and told her, "God looks after people like you."
BUTCH October 24, 2012 at 06:21 AM
Sure nuff mad man in your day the celebrants were in PANAMA-COSTA RICO and the basement at 1600, sell that sh*t on fighting for my right to the low info morons, You may not have known it at the time u fought for AIR AMERICA, BCCI,GOLAN Hts MACAU & Juarez cartels,and would evolve to the Contras -Iranians guns for drugs Al Secord Albert Hakim Ollie North and the entire BCCI Caribbean banking network now being utilized by the ROBME FAMILY i am pleased u survived despite the memory losses, don't feel bad about being a racist noone in the TPARTY DOES nor do they remember any VET unless it is a photo op, The T PARTY confab forgot us again as did the GUY who wants to recommission the MISSOURI or the WWI 7TH Cav! If i was a praying Christian u would be in them it is unfortunate that you have given so much and lost so much cognitive ability where is the bullet lodged or is it PTSD ? Why is it that the guy who has done more for Vet's than all the deserters and draft dodgers get ambushed in the draft dodger Hill billy heroin media aka clear channel (BAIN AGAIN) cuz he is too uppity! I remember early Iraq where GI scrounged for scrap for their Bradley and the Kevlar The CEO of Pfizer and DOD telling the Marine u go to war with the Army u have not what u have U agree with that ? I also remember the 9 BILLION that is still missing after landing on a BLACKWATER C-130' and the KBR Filipino's hired as electricians who electrocuted Marines in the shower.
BUTCH October 24, 2012 at 04:10 PM
mad man u have selective memory lapses for a good reason as do ROBME and the hypocrisy of the the entire bunch of misfits the Christian coalition-Catholic Church predators protected by Vatican Oligarchs who are mute on the slaughter of innocent nuns and Archbishops and the traitors in congress who out our INTELL networks who expose the hypocrisy and lies and send the MURKAN low info cannon fodder to loot and enrich themselves which in return creates the Extremist Jews Buddhists and Muslims for the benefit of the Empire along with our loonies, your defense of the attack on Ft Sumter is the same as TOJO's on Pearl Harbor! Your must be a separatist and wannabe robber baron master wannabe who believes what the gamers preach because it is a throwback to COLONIALISM, which is far beyond or intelligent to be a Rovian or Ralph Reed misinformation potted plant. i suppose u can make a case for the Mormon and Jehovah cults if it was based on taxation and not the weird crap they believe and practice,
BUTCH October 24, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Madman is there a WAR on WOMEN is the Empire running out of cannon fodder? Do u think the HOOSIER low info freaking crazy MURKANS are going to send to the US SENATE a TPARTY freak Murdock as bad and possible worse than SANATORIUM and HERMAN CAIN, Murdock wants to be a decider a lawmaker who thinks RAPE is a gift from God it is life! Do we empty the prisons and put the murders on the street to join the TPARTY? THIS IS WHAT THEY DID IN FLORIDA with the BOAT PEOPLE the GOP voter registrations are filled with more criminals sexual predators and pedophiles besides their Christian hypocrisy beliefs!
OakLawnBill October 24, 2012 at 04:53 PM
No one is taking your guns away mad dude. I have to pay taxes on food, gas and my beloved beer. Why not bullets? And don't give me any crap about how only legit citizens will pay for it. Someone has to buy the darn bullets.
Tired of the B.S. October 24, 2012 at 05:15 PM
OakLawnBill, I already pay taxes on bullets. They are not tax exempt. I also already pay taxes on guns and cigarettes. You seem to be missing the point. This is about raising taxes again. Can you tell me one fee or tax that has not gone up in recent years? When will the solution turn to fiscal responsibility instead of higher taxes?
BUTCH October 24, 2012 at 05:58 PM
what a deal u have to be able to think and not drink the Kool Aid
BUTCH October 24, 2012 at 09:27 PM
madman went to war believing in the American dream he no doubt had believed in the flag waving and never wavered now in his old age he defends NEO CON Zionists looters draft dodgers and 14 lawmakers led by lyin Ryan and ERIC CANTOR the AIPAC rep in conspiring with NEWT and half a dozen SENATORS to destroy the American economy dreamed up by the GOP BOSS FRANK LUNTZ and Hooverize the BLACK GUY, The economy was hemorrhaging 750,000 jobs a month at the time and now is on the rebound despite the treason which pisses off all these draft and tax dodgers which REPRESENTS 100% of the treasonous GOP-TPARTY. The scum bag SENATOR of GEORGIA who swift boated a American hero Max CLELLAND like Tammy Duckworth lost 3 limbs in Vietnam has joined the most corrupt TPARTY CONGRESSMEN Daryl Issa in politicizing the deaths of Americans and outing the brave LIBYANS working for us this is beyond any pretense of decency but was done first by the champion looter of all time and grand dad of a child with 2 moms while the rest of the wing nuts are praying and protesting against abortion and homosexuals the hypocrisy is endless, their televangelists who have entire shows dedicated to anti homo usually get busted with male hookers, so what's the point well it is dog-pony shows and Kabuki theater not understandable to light weights who can't figure out what this represents, it is called who appoints the retiring justices to the Supreme Court the prize! right madman!
Mad John October 24, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Butchie! The venom doth spew! How do you sleep at night? Or do nightmares and delusion consume your rest? I am concerned that it must really suck to be you. Please. that is not an insult merely an observation. Such torment can cause one to loose all sense of humor. So serious and so bitter is a sad way to spen your life. Please get a grip?
Mad John October 24, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Well folks, I have been approached and I accepted! So I bid you all, Fair Winds and Following Seas, God's speed.... I am Going Gault... adeu
BUTCH October 25, 2012 at 12:50 AM
what does this mean he is going to Fla or heaven just when we were going to discuss Karl ROVE'S and ALEC plan for the BAIN concentration camps here and there!
Mad John October 25, 2012 at 01:46 AM
~~~~~P'FFFFFT****** !
BUTCH October 25, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Just when I thought they were going to mount a challenge they say" p'ffffffffff**** WELL MADMAN I REALLY WAS JUST WARMING UP THE ENTERTAINMENT and u do this to me!!! I was READY to go to my Jimmy Swaggart, Larry Craig, Dave Vittters, and the morality of the GOP-TPARTY transsexuals and drugsters of God's party followed by a tutorial on why we should be enraged at and vote for Obama rather than a return to the slavery and robber baron looters is no contest.
BUTCH October 25, 2012 at 03:06 PM
had a good night's restful sleep I dreamed the drugster slipped Murdock's daughter a mickey, sodomized her and deprived the movement of a STD infected know nothing TPARTY economist & history revisionist expert on FOX and Friends.
BUTCH October 25, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Remember HARRY TRUMAN he said" when the GOP stops lying about me I will stop telling the truth about them" It has been my daily chore to follow these words of wisdom! problem is they can't shut up!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something