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Morning Spin: Another Preckwinkle Tax

Monday, November 09, 2015
Chicago Tribune

From the notebook

*Another Preckwinkle tax: Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will take a crack at her plan B for revenue Monday at a special board meeting where she will introduce a proposed 1 percent county hotel tax to replace a planned broadening of the amusement tax that met resistance.

The hotel tax ordinance had eight sponsors Friday, indicating Preckwinkle had some work ahead of her over the weekend to get a majority of the 17-member board behind the plan.
Also on Monday's meeting agenda is a proposed tax on ammunition, which county Commissioner Richard Boykin said he told Preckwinkle she needed to support if she wanted his vote for the hotel tax.

The ordinance calls for "centerfire ammunition" of the kind "commonly used in rifles, pistols and revolvers" to be taxed at a rate of 5 cents per bullet. And it calls for less expensive, generally lower caliber "rimfire ammunition" to be taxed at 1 cent per bullet.

Preckwinkle wanted to extend the county's amusement tax to cable TV and recreational activities like bowling, golf and for-profit sports leagues to raise about $20 million. But many commissioners refused to get behind that hike amid complaints from senior citizens and others who said it wasn't fair to hit them for watching television and taking part in leisure pursuits.

The hotel tax could be an easier sell for Preckwinkle because it largely dings tourists, though there is concern that going after hotel guests again, as Mayor Rahm Emanuel did by raising the city's hotel tax by a percentage point to 4.5 percent in his 2012 budget, will at some point dissuade people from visiting Chicago. If Preckwinkle's tax is approved, the city's total hotel tax would be among the nation's highest at 17.4 percent. (John Byrne)

 



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