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Chicago: Sales Tax Inspires Submachine Gun Waving


 22-cents triggers gun waving in Chicago.

It has been said there is an enduring union between violence and taxation. In truth, sales tax rarely sparks violence these days, at least in this country. But throughout history taxes have often incited violence, and they maintain the power to do so today. Consider recent activities in Chicago, Illinois.

Nahshon Shelton of Chicago  is currently under arrest for pulling out a submachine gun in a neighborhood convenience store. He was moved to do so after the store’s owners asked him to pay 22-cents sales tax on his soda, which cost $1.79.

Shelton allegedly told police that this “is my neighborhood, I’m tax exempt!” That was around the time he allegedly threatened to kill everyone in the store.

Beware the soda tax

Let's hope Mr. Shelton's response to sales tax on soda is anomalous. Illinois lawmakers are currently considering the Healthy Eating and Active Living Act, which would impose a one-cent-per-liter tax on sugary drinks.

Cook County gun tax

Chicago is located in Cook County, which instituted a $25 tax on firearms on April 2013. The tax was created, in part, to raise money “to help pay healthcare costs from gun violence.” One can imagine Mr. Shelton disapproves of this tax as well, though as a felon, it is against the law for him to possess the weapon he wielded over Pepsi.

photo credit: Dunechaser via photopin cc


Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.