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Illinois: Cook County Board of Commissioners Proposes Tax on Your Constitutional Rights

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Illinois: Cook County Board of Commissioners Proposes Tax on Your Constitutional Rights

Please contact the Cook County Board of Commissioners TODAY and let them know you won’t stand for an attack on simply exercising a Constitutional right!

The 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 tomorrow, 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.

As gun ownership and legal carrying of firearms elsewhere have risen to all-time highs, the nation’s murder rate has fallen to nearly an all-time low, and both the nation’s murder rate and its total violent crime rate have fallen by half in the last 20 years.  Despite all evidence to the contrary, Cook County politicians continue to blame law-abiding gun owners and legal, licensed dealers, for their failure to respond appropriately to the problems plaguing their community.

As Chicago-area jurisdictions have learned in court, the right to keep and bear arms is fundamental, and any revenue raised by this additional burden on citizens exercising that right is likely to be consumed by costly litigation and attorney’s fees.  Federal and Illinois courts have consistently held that discriminatory taxes on the exercise of fundamental rights are unconstitutional.  For example, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a tax on the cost of paper and ink used to produce publications because “[a] power to tax differentially, as opposed to a power to tax generally, gives a government a powerful weapon against the taxpayer selected.”  Minneapolis Star and Tribune Co. v. Minnesota Com’r of Revenue, 460 U.S. 575 (1983).  Likewise, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down a surcharge on marriage license fees to fund domestic violence programs because people “forced by the tax imposed to alter their marriage plans” would suffer “a serious intrusion into their freedom of choice in an area in which [the court had] held such freedom to be fundamental.”  Boynton v. Kusper, 494 N.E.2d 135 (Ill. 1986).

The Cook County Commissioners are proposing to continue a failed policy of passing illegitimate and ineffective legislation in order to unfairly burden honest citizens and drive lawful businesses out of Cook County.

Please contact the Cook County Board of Commissioners TODAY by clicking here, or calling (312) 443-5500, and strongly urge them to oppose Ordinance 15-6469, legislation that only attacks those who exercise a Constitutional right. 

 

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.