Cook County’s New Business Killers, a/k/a Taxes

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s proposed budget calls for a 1.25 percent tax on businesses that buy “non-titled” items like office supplies, equipment, building materials and even artwork from outside the county’s borders.  …

County businesses would be allowed to purchase these goods up to $2,500 without any penalty, county officials said. The businesses are responsible for self-reporting the purchases to the county’s revenue department. A Preckwinkle spokesman said the county expects most businesses will comply.  …

The tax is among several initiatives Preckwinkle announced Thursday during a budget presentation, which also called for an additional $1 tax per pack on cigarettes, a 5-cent tax on bullets and an additional $25 tax on gun purchases.

“We’re proposing (these taxes) to subsidize health care,” Preckwinkle said. “Cigarette smoking is the No. 1 cause of preventable disease and gun violence is incredibly expensive.”

The cigarette tax is expected to generate $25.6 million additional revenue in the coming year, and the taxes on guns and bullets are anticipated to bring the county an extra $1 million over the course of 2013.

via Daily Herald.

Shear insanity.  There are so many problems here it’s hard to know where to begin.

As to the increase in the cigarette tax… this is a proven loser.  In 2006 the county earned over $200 million annually from cigarette taxes.  Then they doubled the tax.  Revenue fell to around $131 million.  Now she wants to raise the tax again… that’s the worst thing you can do.  If you want more revenue from cigarettes you need to LOWER the tax rate, not raise it.  The problem here is that Preckwinkle, like all Democrats, do not understand or even believe in the Laffer Curve.  They’re honestly just dumb that way.

How about this tax on bullets?  Well I currently buy a box of 100 rounds out at the Wal-Mart in Villa Park for about $30 + sales tax, or around $33.  Now Preckwinkle wants to add $5 to that box.  Guess what Toni?  I will NOT be buying my ammo in Cook County anymore.  So you’re not going to raise $5 from me… you’re going to lose the $3 in sales tax.  Your “bullet tax” is going to cost the County money…. Lots of money.  Like the cigarette tax, this idea is a net loser.  You know what else, you won’t even be able to claim that I “use” the product (in this case bullets) in Cook County b/c pretty soon all the shooting ranges in the county will go out of business.  So I’ll go shoot in Indiana.  That will be more tax revenue lost.

Lastly, what is up with this office supply tax?  Preckwinkle actually has the stones to call this tax “pro-business” thinking that people will simply comply and buy all there stuff from within the county.  That’s laughable.  She’s such a fool.  How about this Toni; ya think that someone might just open their business in Will, DuPage, or Lake county instead of Cook County?  Guess what Toni, you just made all the office buildings on the North side of Lake Cook road more valuable than the ones on the South side.  Same goes for 191st Street on the south.  You’re now creating another incentive for people to (a) open their businesses outside the county, and (b) move their businesses outside the county.  This tax will cost many many times more than whatever revenue it brings in.

Cook County needs new leadership or it’s going to die.