Illinois State Rifle Association Offers Alternative Plan to Fund Trauma Centers

Mar 01, 2012, 12:29 ET from Illinois State Rifle Association

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., March 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA):

It goes without saying that the ISRA and law-abiding firearm owners everywhere strongly oppose HB5167.  That bill, introduced by Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), would slap a 2% sin tax on ammunition sales made in the state.  Supposedly, the proceeds of that sin tax would be pooled to provide healthcare services to gang bangers, drug lords, and other indigent participants in urban violence.

Although the ISRA opposes HB5167, the association does see a need to provide trauma centers with relief from the financial burden they bear as the result of urban violence.  In addressing that need, the ISRA is floating a proposal that provides badly needed financial relief to urban trauma centers, yet assesses the responsibility for providing that relief with greater fairness than does a tax on law-abiding citizens who happen to purchase ammunition.

Under the ISRA proposal, a combination of sales and property surtaxes would be applied on a pro rata basis based on the home ZIP Codes of violent offenders.  Homes and businesses located in ZIP Codes home to high numbers of offenders would pay more in taxes than residents and businesses located in areas home to fewer offenders.  Additional revenues could be realized by placing similar surtaxes on vehicle registrations, cell phone bills, and utility bills of persons living in ZIP Codes home to violent criminals.  The ISRA believes that it is certainly more equitable to place the responsibility for funding the outcomes of urban violence close to home than it is to tax lawful citizens living hundreds of miles from the problem.

"Our proposal for funding trauma centers is the best example of 'fair taxation' to come along in many years," commented ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson.  "Our proposed tax plan would encourage those closest to the problem to develop a solution.  After imposition of our proposal, I'm quite sure that homeowners and businesspeople in high-tax areas would be highly motivated to reign in their fellow residents responsible for violent crime.  A state-wide tax, such as that proposed under HB5167, takes the focus off the localized nature of violent crime.  Dilution of the sense of responsibility for violent crime makes it less likely that an effective solution to the root causes will be found.  It's the old 'carrot and stick' theory.  If residents and businesses want to get out from under violent offender surtaxes, then they must band together to find a solution.  Our tax plan would promote communities coming together for a common cause – and that's a good thing."

The ISRA is the state's leading advocate of safe, lawful and responsible firearms ownership.  For more than a century, the ISRA has represented the interests of millions of law-abiding Illinois firearm owners.

SOURCE Illinois State Rifle Association