Quinn wants to make 'temporary' tax hike permanent
Claiming that the cost of running government is below 2008 levels, and despite tax revenues being much higher than they were in 2008, Governor Pat Quinn wants Illinois taxpayers to keep turning over a week’s worth of pay for higher income taxes in exchange for a small annual property tax refund, according to Senator Jim Oberweis.
Five weeks after the budget was originally scheduled, Quinn outlined his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2015 to a joint session of Illinois lawmakers March 26 in the House of Representatives. Fiscal Year 2015 runs from July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015.
“The Governor claims lower government costs than we had in 2008 and we know the tax revenues are much higher than in 2008, so what happened to the money?” Senator Oberweis said. “Despite all the promises three years ago, why does the Governor want to make the 2011 ‘temporary’ income tax hike permanent? Most of us would be a little more willing to put up with higher taxes if we believed that those dollars were spent efficiently. Unfortunately, government waste, fraud and abuse have clearly shown the opposite. Where is that money?”
In exchange for making the 2011 “temporary” income tax increase permanent, the Governor is offering property owners an annual $500 property tax refund. Senator Oberweis asked if the new tax refund would end the current property deduction and make state tax returns even more complex.
“Governor Quinn and Democrat leaders promised in 2011 that the 67 percent income tax increase would pay off old bills. It didn’t. They said the increase would generate jobs. It hasn’t. They said the increase would improve our credit rating. It didn’t. They promised they would cut spending and balance the budget. None of those promises have come true,” Senator Oberweis said. “The Governor is now calling for more of the same. It hasn’t worked for the past five years, so why would it work for the next five years?”
The 25th District Senator said to better understand the implication of Governor Quinn’s plan, Illinois citizens only need to look at what he has done to Illinois over his first five years.
• Second highest unemployment rate in the nation – higher than any neighboring state and higher than any comparable state;
• Worst credit rating in the nation – more credit downgrades in his tenure than all other Illinois Governors combined. Ten more credit downgrades than Rod Blagojevich;
• Largest tax increase in Illinois history – 67%. Took a week’s pay out of the pockets of every Illinois family each year since 2011;
• People are fleeing Illinois. Independent studies by moving companies identify Illinois as an outmigration state.
• Illinois is ranked near the bottom of the nation for job growth over the next year.
Senator Oberweis said the state’s economy won’t recover until Illinois does more to encourage job creation and growth, and he is willing to work with Governor Quinn and legislative leaders to develop those policies.