Below are excerpts of a secretly recorded transcript of various conversations in the Illinois Statehouse over the past three days.
“Nine point six percent unemployment? Check.”
“Businesses imploding and/or fleeing Illinois? Check.”
“Gas at $3.20 a gallon? Check.”
“Families living in upside-down mortgage situations? Check.”
“Other families being evicted or foreclosed on? Check.”
“Over-the-top pensions underfunded? Check.”
“Critical infrastructure crumbling? Check.”
“Educational system failing? Check.”
“Thirteen billion dollars in debt and rising? Check.”
“One year without a budget? Check.”
“One decade of spending nothing but borrowed money? Check.”
“We need a solution to this budget crisis!”, says John J. Cullerton.
“I agree!”, says Governor Pat Quinn, “Let’s raise taxes right away!”
“Yes! And let’s use THAT money to borrow even MORE money!”, Cullerton bleats.
“Of course! Why didn’t I think of that? Let the next generation of legislators deal with this mess, whoever they end up being.”
“Capital idea, chaps! Brilliant, I say! Now THAT’S progress!” shouts Michael Madigan.
*a whole bunch of patronage and corruption happens, followed by the roar of Illinois families being completely ignored*
“What say ye? Yea or Nay?”
“OH, SHUT UP, you whiny, never-happy Republicans! The Yeas have it! Now, let’s all go out in front of the cameras and congratulate ourselves and our media monkeys on a job well done.”
Rep Joanne Osmond has the rest of the story, which will be completely ignored without your help in perpetuating her message.
House Democrats succeeded in pushing through their eleventh-hour income tax increase by the slimmest of margins on the final day of the lame-duck session Tuesday night. The package, approved by a vote of 60-57, has far-reaching consequences for working families and small businesses across the state, raising the individual income tax rate by 66% and the corporate tax rate by nearly 50%.
To make matters worse, instead of implementing spending cuts to coincide with the tax increase, the Democrats’ plan sets goals to increase spending by 2%, or $800 million per year over the next four years.
Under their proposal, the state’s 3 percent personal income tax rate would rise to 5 percent for four years; then fall to 4 percent. This increase is expected to generate $6 billion in revenue for the state.
This so-called “temporary” tax increase is anything but temporary. Democrats claim after four years, the personal income tax rate will fall to 4 percent (still a 33% increase over the current level) and remain there for another ten years. In 2025, the rate is supposed to fall to 3.5 percent, but with the spending increases they are proposing, they know the higher rates will have to be maintained just to cover those costs.
Under this deal, Illinois’ individual income tax rate jumps from 41st highest in the nation to the 14th highest – higher than all our neighboring states except Wisconsin.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2008, the average household income in Illinois was $56,000. Based on that figure, the average household will pay over $1,100 more in income taxes.
Likewise, the corporate income tax would be increased from 4.8 percent to 7.0 percent. Added to the existing 2.5 percent corporate personal property replacement tax, businesses will be paying 9.5 percent – one of the highest rates in the country. This is a jobs-killer in a struggling economy and will be a crushing blow to small business across the state. Business will also be devastated by a provision eliminating tax incentives they could carry over if they suffer a net loss.
The tax increase will also be used to leverage $12 billion in borrowing, some of which will be used pay down overdue bills and make this year’s state pension payment.
What the tax increase plan fails to recognize most is that families are hurting. Unemployment is still around 9.6 percent and many Illinoisans who have been able to keep their jobs have had to take a pay cut while the cost of living continues to rise. Gas prices have jumped to over $3 a gallon and grocery prices and property taxes continue to rise.
Just weeks ago, President Obama agreed with congressional Republicans that it is important to allow families to keep more of their money to spend as they see fit. Yet here in Illinois, Democrats disagree. They just canceled out the federal tax cut for families here in Illinois.
My House Republican colleagues and I have said all along that any budget solution needs to include cuts and also significant reforms to save money and prove to taxpayers that we are spending their hard-earned money wisely.
While we are pleased Democrats finally agreed to work with us to pass meaningful Medicaid reform last week; that is just one piece of the puzzle. The income tax increase does not come with any spending reductions, reforms to skyrocketing pension costs, or workers’ compensation reform. In fact, as I mentioned before, the plan allows for 2% annual state spending increasesin each of the next four years.
Rather than conduct a thorough, line-by-line review of state spending to eliminate waste and save money, the Democrats have just voted to raise taxes to bail out their decade of over-spending.
The passage of the Democrats’ tax plan is an unfortunate development for every taxpayer and small business in our state. This is not, in reality, a temporary tax increase. There are not any meaningful cuts or a real spending freeze. This tax increase will hurt Illinois families and drive more jobs out of Illinois.
The plan now goes to the State Senate, where final approval is expected. If you have not done so already, I urge you to call Senator Michael Bond’s Springfield Office at (217) 782-7353 and urge him to vote NO.
As always, please feel welcome to call or email me if you have any questions on these or other legislative issues. I can be reached at 847-838-6200 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
State Representative – 61st District
- Illinois Legislature Brain Surgeons Raise Taxes So They Can Increase State Debt (therightofthepeople.wordpress.com)
- Swimming in debt, Ill. considers massive tax boost (sfgate.com)
- Illinois income tax hike plan still up in the air – The State Journal-Register (news.google.com)
- Do or die for massive Illinois tax hike (money.cnn.com)
- Illinois House Passes Tax Increase (online.wsj.com)
- “Illinois Struggles to Raise Income Tax: Quinn tax hike in trouble” and related posts (nalert.blogspot.com)
- Revised Illinois tax plan floated to lawmakers (reuters.com)
- “Illinois GOP Announces Petition to Fight Tax Hike” and related posts (illinoisreview.typepad.com)
- House Passes Largest Tax Hike In Illinois History! A List of 61 Traitors (chicagonow.com)
- A debtors’ prison for deadbeat pols? (chicagonow.com)
- NoIllinoisTaxHike.com: Sign the No Tax Petition (chicagonow.com)
- URF to Primary Illinois Republican Legislators That Vote for Tax Increase (chicagonow.com)