Quinn: Tie income tax hike for schools to property tax cut
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[August 26, 2010]
DOWNS -- If the state of
Illinois raises income taxes for schools, and if local schools want
some of that money, Gov. Pat Quinn says they may to have to lower
Quinn added a new wrinkle to his long-sought-after "surcharge for
education" on Wednesday. The governor said at an agricultural forum
for candidates that if lawmakers approve his 33 percent income tax
hike this fall or next year, he'll push to tie the $3 billion it's
supposed to raise to local property taxes.
"I think it's very
simple to pass a law that says to local schools districts -- if we
give you more money from the state for education, … part of the
bargain is that you have to cut your local property tax."
Quinn didn't say how much local districts would have to trim from
their tax levy, or what would happen if districts either don't do it
or can't do it. But the governor said he thinks the income tax hike
and property tax cut need to be linked.
"I think is should be mandatory," Quinn said. "I think that when
the state helps local schools with more money from the state of
Illinois, it also means cutting local property taxes."
Quinn's opponent, state Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, was
caught off guard by the governor's new plan. But he said he has his
"It sounds like a bunch of smoke and mirrors," Brady said. "This
is the first time I've heard it, but it doesn't seem to make sense
to me, what he's talking about."
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Brady said last week that local property taxes may go up even if
the state provides more funding to local schools. His plan would be
to cut 10 percent from the state's budget, including dollars for
Brady said if local schools would get the money they're owed by
the state, then they could withstand a 10 percent cut. But it will
take a lot of money, or a lot of cuts, to get the state to the point
where it can pay what it owes.
Quinn spent a lot of time Wednesday bashing Brady for pitching a
cut to education. But the governor didn't say if he expects to
actually see his planned tax increase passed by the Legislature
anytime soon. Lawmakers could not find the votes, or the support,
for the tax hike last spring.
Quinn and Brady will square off on the November ballot.
Statehouse News; By BENJAMIN YOUNT]