CHICAGO
10/31/2012 01:36 pm ET

Cook County Bullet Tax: Toni Preckwinkle Drops Plan, Keeps County Gun Fee

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has moved to nix her controversial nickel-per-bullet countywide tax, part of her 2013 budget proposal.

Preckwinkle announced the tweak to her headline-grabbing "violence tax" on Wednesday, amid rumors that her office would have a difficult time garnering county commissioners' support for the plan, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Those murmurs persist concerning the new $25-per-gun tax that Preckwinkle will continue to push as part of a plan which is intended to generate much-needed money toward the county's $260 million-plus budget shortfall while also addressing its surge of gun violence.

The tax on the purchase of firearms is expected to raise $600,000 in revenue for the county next year, according to a Preckwinkle release.

The county, also, will continue to look into the idea of implementing a bullet tax in the future, according to the Chicago Tribune. That tax was previously projected to raise $400,000 in revenue annually.

Preckwinkle also announced Wednesday that she will dedicate $2 million to violence prevention, intervention and reduction programs -- money that will be rewarded via grants to non-profit groups "with proven experience in violence prevention or community outreach" by an advisory committee.

"This money will provide needed resources to organizations on the front lines that deal with the impact of violence in their communities on a daily basis. It is critical that we do all we can to reduce violence, keep illegal guns off the street and deter criminal behavior," Preckwinkle said in a statement.

In another adjustment to Preckwinkle's 2013 budget proposal announced this week, the proposed gambling machine tax will offer a reduced fee for smaller, mom-and-pop shops than for larger casinos, namely the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines.

With the changes made, Greg Hinz of Crain's expects Preckwinkle's budget will easily be approved by the county board.

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