|IT'S CIRCLED FOR A REASON:
Illinois lawmakers are considering a number of tax increases.
Illinois taxpayers are looking at either a graduated income tax, which takes
more taxes from people who earn more, and a proposal from Gov. Pat Quinn to make
permanent the 2011 "temporary" income tax.
"It depends on where you sit whether you call (keeping the temporary tax) a tax
increase," Carol Portman, executive director of the Taxpayers Federation of
Illinois, told Illinois Watchdog. "It certainly is an increase over what you were
expecting to see."
Portman and her group haven't taken a position for or against Quinn's plan, nor
has it weighed in on the progressive tax pitched by Democratic state Sen. Don
"You can have a graduated rate that is not terrible policy. A lot of states have
figured out how to do it," Portman said.
But Portman did say the apparently dead millionaires' tax in Illinois was
unusual, as it sets tax rates in the state constitution.
The millionaires' tax died when Democratic lawmakers said they couldn't support
"Our goal should be maximizing government efficiency and job growth, not pushing
high-earners, and the taxes they pay, out the door," state Rep. Jack Franks said
in a statement.
"With this governor, there is no taxation without misrepresentation. He would
like to portray this as an issue of fairness, but I am confident that no one who
is currently out of work would consider our state's tax policies fair."
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Franks and another Democrat, Rep. Scott
Drury, joined every Republican lawmaker in publicly dismissing the
millionaires' tax, leaving the Democrats two votes shy of the 71
they need to move it forward.
The competing — and changing — tax plans are difficult to
"It's so complicated that even the people who know it thoroughly,
inside and out, are struggling to come up with a serious (and)
honest answer," Portman said.
Lawmakers must have a budget in place by the end of May, but the
Legislature may not vote on a tax increase until after the election
in November, or even as late as January 2015.
"Illinois is at an economic crossroads, and our choices going
forward are clear," Franks' statement said. "With income tax rates
set to expire at the end of this year, Illinois' government must
focus on living within our means, not maintaining a
business-as-usual approach and taking more from taxpayers already
overburdened by our state's tax-and-spend policies to pay for it."
article courtesy of
Contact Benjamin Yount at
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