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*** UPDATED x1 *** Should we be like Indiana and Tennessee?

Thursday, Oct 21, 2010

* Even though nobody appeared to cover it today, one of the things that set off commenters during last night’s debate was when Bill Brady said…

“If the viewers are happy with the way Illinois is going, elect Pat Quinn. But if you want an Illinois that looks more like an Indiana or a Tennessee - a state that can turn the page - we need new leadership in Springfield.”

Video clip


Now, Brady wasn’t saying that we’d be better off if we were Hoosiers or whatever Tennesseans call themselves. He was trying to make the point, I think, that those states are run well. It’s part of his standard stump speech

One of the states that Brady looks to is Indiana; others are Texas and Tennessee.

“States that have learned to live within their means,” as Brady put it.

There are undoubtedly many things Illinois can learn from those other states. We are certainly no beacon of hope for the rest of the world.

Still, even though I love my Aunt Jean and Uncle Mike very much, I’ve never wanted to move to their Indiana home state. And while I’ve traveled to Tennessee and like the place, I have zero desire to live there. I think that’s why Brady’s comment may have bugged me and some of you. I, for one, chose to stay here in the early 1980s when jobs were beyond scarce and some of my friends and family were heading south to Texas and Florida. If I wanted to live in Texas, or anywhere else, I’d move there. Well, not now. I’m kinda stuck in this golden cage of my own construction.

* Anyway, Eric Zorn ran a few numbers to see how Illinois compares

* State Individual Income Tax Rates: Illinois, 3%; Indiana, 3.4%, Tennessee, 6% …ADDED BY ZORN: note that the table in the link above doesn’t account for a fact found elsewhere on the Tax Foundation website, that “Tennessee’s personal income tax system consists of a flat 6% rate on exclusively dividend and interest income. No other personal income is subject to state taxation.” As a result, Tennessee’s per capita state income tax is $47, Illinois’ $806 and Indiana’s $760 — income disparities explain the Illinois and Indiana figures

* State General Sales and Use Tax Rates: Illinois, 6.25%, Indiana and Tennessee, 7%

* State General Sales Tax Collections Per Capita –Illinois $619, Indiana, $901; Tennessee, $1,101

* Combined State and Local Tax Burden — Illinois 9.3%; Indiana, 9.4%, Tennessese 8.3%

* Per capita income –Illinois, $46,693; Indiana $37,279; Tennessee, $38,090

Higher state tax rates and way lower per capita income.

* Keep in mind, however, that few people actually watched the debate last night. Check out the numbers for Tuesday’s US Senate debate

The debate hosted by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos scored a 5.0 rating (175,000 households).

That easily beat the 2.8 rating (98,000) “The David Letterman Show” pulled on WBBM-Channel 2 and the 2.5 rating (87,500) for “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on WMAQ-Channel 5.

That’s a solid TV rating, but 175,000 households ain’t a lot of people in the grand scheme of things. And since nobody covered the Indiana/Tennessee thing except Eric and myself, the only way people who didn’t watch would ever know about it is if Pat Quinn put it into a TV ad, which I seriously doubt he’d do.

Thoughts?

*** UPDATE *** From The Business Insider, based on data from Joshua Ruah an associate professor of finance at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University….

11 State Pension Funds That May Run Out of Money

#1 Illinois

Year pension fund runs out: 2018
Bill in the following year: $13.6 billion
Share of state revenue: 32% […]

#3 Indiana

Year pension fund runs out: 2019
Bill in the following year: $3.6 billion
Share of state revenue: 17%

#4 New Jersey

Year pension fund runs out: 2019
Bill in the following year: $14.4 billion
Share of state revenue: 34%

So, they have one more year than we do. Great.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


65 Comments
  1. - Secret Square - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:11 am:

    Tennessee is sometimes known as the Volunteer State, so wouldn’t they call themselves Volunteers or “Vols”? In fact isn’t one of their college teams called the Vols?


  2. - bored now - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:20 am:

    yes, tennessee vols is the university of tennessee’s nickname. some people think payton manning (once their quarterback) is a darn good quarterback, but he was only so-so in the sec…


  3. - grand old partisan - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:21 am:

    It’s not the best line for Brady to use in a Chicago area forum, because the other implication is that, unlike IL, TN and IN are not politically dominated by urban liberals. But it’s a winning message downstate. As Rich pointed out the other day, even moderate Dems down there are moving toward Brady. And this is why. I had a girlfriend in college who was a Democrat from Kansas. She realized after living in Chicago a few years that she’d actually be a moderate Republican by IL standards. Brady is betting that downstate Dems are more like TN or IN Dems, and he pitching the notion that he is closer to that ideologically than Quinn.


  4. - Lefty - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:23 am:

    Perhaps when comparing Illinois to Tennessee and Indiana we should look at who is steering their respective ships rather than the condition of each. Our ship is sinking and our captains are pumping more water INTO the ship rather than ordering everyone to bail!


  5. - Segatari - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:25 am:

    >Higher state tax rates and way lower per capita income.

    Uhh…Rich…you missed one important item on that list - cost of living. What is the cost of living in Illinois vs. those other two states? I’m certain Chicago jacks that average much higher than the other two states.


  6. - Reformer - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:25 am:

    If Tennessee is Brady’s role model, then should we double our income tax rate to match theirs? If Illinois adopted the Indiana state tax system, Springfield would raise $5 billion more per year.


  7. - the Patriot - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:28 am:

    Good concept, Bad debate line. You need to explain. Because IN and TN have much more friendly business environments, they are kicking us un the seat when it comes to drawing new job, factories ect. We may be close to those states in a lot of current indicators. But when you look at the combined human, natural, agricultural, and industrial resources IL has compared to those states, they should not be in the same league as us.

    Staying with sports, our neighbors are the ok atheletes that get the most out of their talents. IL is the elite athlete that relies on natural skill rather then maximizing our talent through diligence.


  8. - Robert Zimmerman - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:29 am:

    tennessee does not have an income tax on salaries only on interest earned…The individual income tax is imposed only on individuals and other entities receiving interest from bonds and notes and dividends from stock. http://tn.gov/revenue/tntaxes/indinc.htm


  9. - Greg B. - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:29 am:

    Yep, Ten. is the Volunteer state.

    I don’t know if cherry picking some stats and saying somewhere is a better place to live or not so great to live does us much good.

    Phil Bredesen, the Gov. of Ten. is a Democrat which is interesting. They had a disaster with their Medicaid Program a few years ago which put state finances on the brink and they were able to muscle up the courage to fix the problem. The special interests went nuts, at the end of the day not much of anything was disrupted and no one really cared. I remember a NewsHour report on the subject at the time that kind of cracked me up.

    TN only charges income tax on returns on investment — stocks, bonds and other investments at 6%. It doesn’t tax wages and salaries.


  10. - Responsa - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:32 am:

    Many people (and me specifically) can fervently love the state of Illinois–its storied history, its beauty, its agricultural contributions to the world, its diversity, its cultural and higher education treasures, and most of all its decent down to earth Midwestern values inhabitants– and never want to live anywhere else on earth. Yet I think people can feel all of that but still know and accept that the state is a mess financially, is a politically corrupt cesspool moreso than all but a few other states–and that things just simply can’t continue to go on this way if our state is to survive.

    Is it so horrible, then, to want our state to be managed better than it has been and to recognize that several of our neighboring states (which are not currently national laughing stocks) might indeed offer some tested ideas on how we could do some things better in Illinois? That is, if we don’t allow ourselves to get so puffed up with umbrage and arrogance that we cannot even be open enough to look?


  11. - CU Down - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:32 am:

    If Zorn isn’t adding in local government taxes, and specifically property taxes, he’s not providing a full picture.

    Wouldn’t that be a surprise.


  12. - lincolnlover - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:33 am:

    Someone once said “There’s more than corn in Indiana.” They lied.


  13. - anon - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:33 am:

    I’m really bothered by the whole Dean Martinez thing. Dean has always been a stand up guy, yet Quinn did him no favors. Dean is an attorney who worked for the State’s Attorney’s office. He knows the difference between right and wrong, and, in my experience with him, has always been on the right side. He is a stand up guy.

    If I could ask Pat Quinn some questions, I would ask the following:

    1. PQ, you say that you fired Martinez, but wasn’t he actually transferred from his dep gov position to another agency position? If he was such a bad guy, why didn’t you fire him immediately?
    2. PQ, did you ask Martinez and/or Ochoa to hold a fundraiser for you in the primary? If so, were they decent guys then? Did they become bad guys when they decided to help your opponent? You demonized them…what choice did they have?

    I’m tired of good people who worked for blago being dragged through the mud by governor quinn. I comend vrady for standing by martinez and ochoa, but I wish he would have put Quinn on the spot about all the blago people he has kept in leadership positions in government, and even those working on the campaign.

    I like quinn, but he is far too happy to throw good people under the bus to cover for his past failures to distance himself from blago. Stop dumping on good people, pat. Politics is a game for grown ups. If you’re unhappy that two people you demonized are helping your opponent, then go steal some brady people for your campaign. Don’t degrade good people.


  14. - Sue - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:34 am:

    In 1995 Edgar made a serious attempt to address pension funding but in the following years the legislature failed to abide by the new funding formulas- Then the markets tanked and the pension assets went down- the focus now MUST be on reducing benefits by changing the COLA adjustments and giving serious thought to retaining a master investment guru and impose the firm on the Boards- Someone like Blackrock would be a big improvement over the lay boards who now are making billion dollar decisions with the state’s future- The changes for new employees is the tip of the iceberg compared to what reducing the annual cola increases would achieve and immediately we need to address the constant spiking which seems prevelent with the Municipal Plan


  15. - ? - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:36 am:

    What about property taxes??? We have some of the highest property taxes in the nation - that compensates for a lower income tax … Zorn compared apples to oranges


  16. - John Bambenek - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:36 am:

    That study makes some assumptions that are perfectly valid for analysis. However, because many pensions are still being underfunded based on current obligations and apparently they are being put on the delayed payment cycle that everyone else is on (Comptroller wouldn’t confirm that for me but hinted that was the case), it will accelerate that timeline. Further, once you take into account the fact they are leveraged in CDS’ and other derivatives, their viability is now directly tied to the market. If the derivative market dies our pensions die. We could be seeing pension insolvency in just 2 years.


  17. - bdogg - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:37 am:

    I was watching, and when he said it, I simply burst out laughing. Now, when I see the numbers, it is even MORE hysterical to me. There are stark, very stark differences between these two candidates, and when Bill Brady says things like that, it is seriously scary. (cue the scary music) Bill Brady, who is this guy??


  18. - OneMan - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:38 am:

    17% is a lot lower than 32%

    Then again at this point, I figure no one is going to do anything about it until things really get dire.


  19. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:39 am:

    The Democrats have long been portraying the GOP–at least the faction dominating it–as a Southern “White” male group who are out of touch with mainstream values and want to take the country backwards rather than deal with the problems of the modern world.

    Bill Brady’s comment–and his candidacy–strongly re-enforces this view of the Republican Party.

    Bill Brady is not some industry whiz kid. He’s one of those tedious social reactionaries.

    If Bill Brady got away with making Illinois like Indiana and Tennessee, he wake up the next day and want to make Illinois like Texas and Alabama. If he got away with that, the next day he’d like to make Illinois like Mississippi and South Carolina.

    Who cares what their state budgets are like? Those states have the right *values*.


  20. - A Springfield Veteran - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:41 am:

    In all fairness; a reference to the actions of other states can show what works and what does not. I don’t think simply referring to other states translates to a desire to live in those other states. Rich calm down. No one wants to move but we can learn from the behavior of others.


  21. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:42 am:

    The people who point out that in ways Tennessee and Indiana have more progressive tax systems sort of demonstrate my point.

    Brady is so ignorant of policy, he probably couldn’t tell you the details of how Indiana and Tennessee taxation is different from Illinois.

    But he knows those states are more *conservative on social issues*. And making Illinois more conservative on social issues is Brady’s priority.

    And based on the positions Brady has taken, he wants to go really far on making Illinois *conservative enough*.


  22. - More Courage - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:49 am:

    I think you need to look at these comparisions in a macro, not micro state budget health picture:

    Illinois’ financial situation is worse than any other state in the country according to a study by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The state ended Fiscal Year 2010 in worse shape than any other state (the state’s general fund balance was the lowest it has ever been at negative $4.7 billion[2]) and the state’s budget situation has been called “tenuous at best.”


  23. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:49 am:

    ===What about property taxes???===

    You only saw what you wanted to see. Let’s try again…

    === Combined State and Local Tax Burden — Illinois 9.3%; Indiana, 9.4%, Tennessese 8.3% ===


  24. - John Bambenek - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:50 am:

    I love how people take such a blinded view to taxation in Illinois. Sure, we have a flat and low income tax rate. However, we have one of the highest property taxes in the country driven by the fact that we have the most units of local government of any state… by far.

    And there’s no attempt to even look at fees which are basically taxes by another name in most cases.

    The truth isn’t quite so simply.

    And sure, the wages are lower in Indiana… but what’s the cost of living there? Much lower. You have to look at wages corrected for cost of living to get a better idea of the relative differences. For instance, I could buy a decent house in Champaign for $150k. In Naperville? Not so much.


  25. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:53 am:

    ===However, we have one of the highest property taxes in the country===

    Again…

    === Combined State and Local Tax Burden — Illinois 9.3%; Indiana, 9.4%, Tennessese 8.3% ===


  26. - John Bambenek - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:53 am:

    Rich-

    I saw it… looking to see exactly how they calculate it.


  27. - OneMan - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:53 am:

    == Combined State and Local Tax Burden — Illinois 9.3%; Indiana, 9.4%, Tennessese 8.3% ===

    Well we are in worse shape then both on pensions, the other question would be what are their deficits like vs. ours as a pct of budget?

    At the end of the day I would suspect we have been the most incompetent in managing our finances.


  28. - Peoria Joe - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 9:53 am:

    Tennessee does NOT have an Income Tax of 6%!
    It’s only on passive(investment) income.

    I realize that most Illinois citizens do not follow TN politics, but in 2001-2002 TN had a major citizen tax revolt about a PROPOSED state income tax. It was defeated, and made national headlines.

    Also, the comment “But if you want an Illinois that looks more like an Indiana or a Tennessee ” refers to the better state governments in those states. Seemed obvious to me.


  29. - Thoughts... - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 10:05 am:

    Seems to me if you wrote a script that mentioned Indiana’s history with the KKK, the fact that Tennessee was the last state to allow women the right to vote, and highlighted the fact that both states have higher sales and income taxes, then closed with the Brady quote, it’d be a pretty effective ad.


  30. - John Bambenek - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 10:12 am:

    Thoughts-

    Sounds like a typical Democrat ad…

    “A vote for a Republican is another black man lynched”…

    Yeah, it’s us dividing America all right.


  31. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 10:14 am:

    - Sounds like a typical Democrat ad…

    “A vote for a Republican is another black man lynched”… -

    Yeah, I see tons of those. Sounds more like your typical overreaction whenever anyone brings up race.


  32. - Piling on - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 10:16 am:

    as for local property tax rates …
    Indiana has lower rates, but raised its income tax (the state’s top money maker) as part of the deal a couple years ago. And Indy doesn’t share its sales tax with locals.
    It does, however, offer locals the opportunity to have a local income tax.
    That’d be interesting.

    Yes, it is tough to make an apples to apples comparison. But it’s the candidate who’s bringing up other states as examples.

    The voting public deserves to know some of the basics of the STATE tax structure in those other states. He’s running for state governor, not mayor or school board (which have the biggest influence on LOCAL property taxes).

    I mean just because he doesn’t provide any details of his Illinois budget plan, does that mean we don’t get any details on what it is about the other states he wants to be like.

    I’d like the Cubs to be more like the Yankees. It doesn’t happen with wishful thinking and a snap of the fingers.


  33. - John Bambenek - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 10:16 am:

    I wasn’t the one who suggested “jigger” was a racial word…


  34. - Montrose - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 10:21 am:

    *It does, however, offer locals the opportunity to have a local income tax.
    That’d be interesting.*

    Indianapolis has a 0.7% income tax and a 1.0% sales tax.


  35. - Objective Dem - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 10:21 am:

    I want Illinois to be like Alaska where the state gives everyone money every year just for living there.


  36. - Amalia - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 10:22 am:

    aww, come on people. what’s wrong with Brady saying Illinois should be more like Tennessee and bringing Dean Martinez and Juan Ochoa into the fold? haven’t you heard of do as I say not as I do? That’s just Brady being Brady. And what you’ll get if you
    vote for that big phony.


  37. - Obama's Puppy - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 10:23 am:

    To put it in golfing terms can we have a “mulligan” on the primaries?


  38. - Responsa - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 10:25 am:

    @Thoughts 10:05–

    Great idea you have there for a clever campaign ad. But since you’re going back that far in history for inspiration maybe you’d also want to throw in the 1919 Chicago race riots and Al Capone for added (albeit irrelevant) drama.

    Or, then again, perhaps concentrating on all the states’ current issues in 2010 and the challenges beyond would be more useful for voters.


  39. - Davey Boy Smithe - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 10:26 am:

    Where have you gone, Scott Lee Cohen, our state turns it’s lonely eyes to you.


  40. - Davey Boy Smithe - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 10:27 am:

    its, not it’s. D’oh. See, the IL education I received screwed me up.


  41. - BigTwich - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 10:27 am:

    As for State Revenue only,

    Total Taxes($ million), Illinois 29,268, Indiana 14,900, Kentucky 9,756.

    Per Capita, Illinois 2,267, Indiana 2,320, Kentucky 2,261.

    Rank, Illinois 27, Indiana 26, Kentucky 28.

    % of Pers.Income, Illinois 5.4, Indiana 6.8, Kentucky 7.1.

    Rank, Illinois 37, Indiana 17, Kentucky 14.

    from

    http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/burden.html


  42. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 10:29 am:

    - I wasn’t the one who suggested “jigger” was a racial word… -

    I wasn’t either, got any other useless thoughts to share?


  43. - Adam Smith - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 10:32 am:

    With all due respect Rich, I suggest that property taxes may not be included in that number.

    How could a 9% tax burden include property taxes?

    We pay 3% income tax and 6-10% sales tax (which of course is only on the portion of our income we spend), but property taxes are based on assessed valuation, not income. Even if you tried to average it out by median home value and median income it would be at least several percentage points of household income. Then when you everything else, like franchise taxes, motor fuel, utility taxes, etc. it gets way up there. And how would you calculate the property tax hit for renters?

    I think, (and this is just my rough guess) that what they call the “Combined state and local” is the income and the sales tax but not the property tax.

    I guess my question is, do you have specific breakdown of what they did include in that calculation or are you assuming it includes property taxes?


  44. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 10:40 am:

    –Because IN and TN have much more friendly business environments, they are kicking us un the seat when it comes to drawing new job, factories ect–

    Some facts:

    Unemployment rates, August 2010, Bureau of Labor Statistics:
    IL: 9.9%
    TN: 9.6%
    IN: 9.9%

    Overall GSP in millions and state rank, Bureau of Economic Analysis:
    IL: $633,696 (5)
    IN: $254,861 (17)
    TN: $252,127 (19)

    GSP Per Capita and state rank, Bureau of Economic Analysis
    Ill: $41,411 (14)
    TN: $34,089 (36)
    IN: $33,725 (40)

    Among metro areas in the country, Chicago’s GMP is third behind New York and Los Angeles; and fourth in the world, behind those two cities and Tokyo.

    Nashville and Indianapolis metros are not among the Top 20 GMP in the United States.

    I like lots of places and folks in Indiana and Tennessee. But they are simply not in the ballpark as Illinois in economic diversity and opportunity, much less cultural.

    Whether we like to admit it or not, Illinois is still one of the largest and wealthiest states in the country. The fact that our GA and governor can’t put a budget together doesn’t change that.


  45. - Piling on - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 10:51 am:

    An interesting rundown of local taxes in Indianapolis.

    http://www.bloomingtonalternative.com/content/9158

    A best practices debate is fine. In some ways it’s admirable that Indiana’s tax structure is so non-political in that it has limited exemptions and basically says everyone — even retirees — should pay up. It suggests the lawmakers and governors there have routinely said “no” to special interests.

    You may recall that an early version of HB750 called for taxing retirement income in the six figures, but it drew so much heat some sponsors pulled off and that provision was dropped from later versions.

    Just so we’re talking real dollars, if Illinois taxed retirement income the way Indiana does, it’d bring in more than $1 billion annually. And Illinois is among a very select few states with an income tax that doesn’t tax any retirement income.

    Of course it will never happen. Just bringing up for discussion purposes.


  46. - Jim F - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 10:55 am:

    Per capita income X combined state and local tax burden % = per capita state and local tax:

    Illinois - $46,693 X 9.3%= $4,342
    Indiana - $37,279 X 9.4% = $3,504
    Tennesse - $38,090 X 8.3%= $3,161

    Illinois’ effective per capita tax burden is $838 or 23.9% higher than Indiana and $1,181 or 37.4% higher than Tennesse.

    And yet, we still have a “revenue” crisis and they do not. Anyone can cherry-pick to suit their agenda.


  47. - just sayin' - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 10:55 am:

    Bill Brady should do everyone a favor and move to Indiana or Tennessee. Obviously he hates Illinois. All he does is badmouth our state.

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out Bill. No one will miss you. We need leaders, not complainers.


  48. - dupage dan - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 10:58 am:

    I wonder what level of tax increase would be necessary to insure the pension fund is properly funded? Anybody think the GA would entertain such a bill to pay for it? Anybody think the citizens would support such a “targeted” tax increase.


  49. - John Galt - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 10:58 am:

    1) Taxes aren’t the full picture. There’s also the corruption tax–we get less bang for our buck here.

    2) It’s very likely that business regulations and tort laws are less business friendly here in Illinois due to a stronger labor union presence.

    3) As far as the per capita income goes, Illinois may be higher, but I’d bet the cost of living is much higher as well. Granted, downstate would still be comparable, but I’ve got to imagine that anywhere in Cook County and in most parts of Lake & DuPage counties, it’s substantially more expensive than the urban & suburban areas of Indiana & Tennessee.


  50. - D.P. Gumby - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 11:08 am:

    Since both Tenn. and Ind. are “right-to-work” states, I believe, then these figures would tend to dispel the propaganda about those laws.


  51. - ShadyBillBrady - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 11:11 am:

    Bambino … one of the reasons property tax rates are high in certain places is because there is an over-reliance on them to fund schools. A progressive income tax system based on ability to pay could actually help address that.

    And I pointed out that pension study on a post yesterday … I think it’s interesting how many of the “bastions of hope” Brady points to are on that list … some of them like New Jersey are even skipping their payments because they don’t want to borrow to make the payments (Bill Brady considers that “increasing spending” when he talks about Quinn).


  52. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 11:40 am:

    We gone downhill awfully far when the leading gubernatorial candidate publically pines for Illinois to be like Indiana or Tennessee.

    That’s reality for ya!

    Yeah - Illinois sucks that bad!


  53. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 11:48 am:

    VMan, way to let the facts speak for you.

    What’s stopping you and Bill from taking it on down the line, anyway, if you feel that way?

    Aren’t you a little ashamed to be sitting on the clock at your state job and saying — “Yeah - Illinois sucks that bad!”

    Aren’t you supposed to be making it better, with your obviously indispensable skills? I’m sure you cash your taxpayer-funded check.


  54. - Living in Oklahoma - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 11:52 am:

    Please consult my handle on this blog for direction as to what state Illinois should be modeling itself after.


  55. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 11:56 am:

    Well, Rich, none are so blind as those who will not see.


  56. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 12:11 pm:

    bingo dp gumby. for all the back and forth about taxes and values issues i find it hard to believe brady meant anything by his inartful comment than he believes illinois is at a competitive disadvantage in comparison to “right to work” states


  57. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 12:16 pm:

    Vman - Maybe you should try the private sector in Indiana, I hear they have as many jobs per person, they just pay you less. Your work ethic would fit in well as a Maytag repairman. Oh wait, I think the Maytag plant there headed to Mexico. Ever thought about immigrating somewhere?


  58. - FDR - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 12:35 pm:

    Yeah, let’s be like Indiana and Tennessee. Wait! Why stop there… let’s save some more money and get rid of schools entirely! Let’s all move to Central America!


  59. - frustrated GOP - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 12:42 pm:

    Hey, I once saw a report that said Tennessee was the most corrupt state in the US. I was amazed. I thought we were doing pretty good. So Brady wants us to be #1.
    Does that mean we get a replica of Graceland. But let’s not get too carried away. They don’t shot all of the Memphis cops in Memphis, to dangerous. They film in a safe city, New Orleans.


  60. - Angry Chicagoan - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 1:25 pm:

    Brady demonstrates the poverty of ambition among Republicans. It reminds of when Tim Pawlenty in Minnesota suggested Minneapolis and St. Paul should aspire to be more like Toledo. I kid you not. And yet they think we can still afford to run an empire. Not if that’s what they aspire to we can’t. They know the price of everything, but haven’t a clue about the value of anything.


  61. - reformer - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 1:58 pm:

    As a percent of income, our state & local tax burden is among the ten lowest states.


  62. - ShadyBillBrady - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 2:16 pm:

    Yes, Frustrated GOP, but that study was from a long time ago … way back in May (http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-05-11/the-most-corrupt-states/)

    And you’re right, Reformer. Ih fact, pretty close - of not in - the bottom 5 states as total effective tax as a percentage of income. Yet one of the highest income-earning states. We’re clearly taxing our people to death. Or not.


  63. - I'm Just Saying - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 2:30 pm:

    Ah Yes, Tennessee, where they can carry guns in bars, and Noblesville Indiana, where the modern Klan was founded, that’s what we want to aspire for…..

    The best thing to ever come out of Indiana was I-80!!!


  64. - car - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 2:52 pm:

    I happen to live in Northwest Indiana so I can tell you the significant differences in taxes, services, costs etc. I have to file both Indiana and Illinois tax returns. Even though the tax rate in IN is 3.4%, I pay significantly higher taxes than in IL. IN has many deductions- including deductions for paying rent-up to $3000. The deductions for children are higher as well. The tax that I owed to IN was 1 1/2 times what I owed to IL- that is not a .4% difference.
    There is a significant difference in the fee amount for vehicle registration. You have to pay a percentage tax of the price of the vehicle - so it is a gradually decreasing amount as your car ages- which the state figures what they feel is the depreciated rate. My husband and I had sticker shock when we bought two cars at the same time and had to pay over $500 to register the cars. These were for vehicles under $20,000. I could only imagine what the bill for a BMW, Lexus etc would be. I would never buy a new car because of this.
    School fees for elementary schools are about $120 per year depending on the grade; Middle school is $200 and high school is around $250. There are fees for all extra-curricular activities which parents have to fund 100% and parents are also required to raise a certain amount of money through fundraisers to cover any bus trans. for meets or activities etc. At my son’s high school, they don’t have enough books so the books have to stay in the classroom- so no books go home for homework- yet I’m paying fees for books. I found this out at Back to School night. However, that being said I much prefer the curriculum and teachers/school administration in Indiana schools and thus have had significantly better experience with the educational system in Hammond Public schools than IL- this is coming from someone whose father was a school teacher in IL for over 30 years and a sister who was a special ed teacher and then administrator in Champaign for over 30 years and I attended all Illinois schools as well as I work in Child Welfare so I have had significant opportunities to see our IL educational system statewide as I have worked all over. For example, obtaining Special Education services for my step-daughter was so easy and the referral happened within the first two weeks of attendance, with services starting within two months. It is always a fight with CPS and the poorer suburban school districts-it appears to be about money and not about the child’s need- most are blunt and will tell you.
    Most IN counties have their own county tax- Lake county is one of the only counties that does not currently but may adopt one.
    I also feel that utilities are significantly higher as well. There are also no consumer protections-regardless of the temperature- the utility company will shut you off for non-payment which is usually 16-20 days after the bill is due. Credit agreements are not consumer friendly and there is no leverage on the conditions of those agreements- if payment is not made on time(which actually means two days before the due date as on the due date is actually late)- they will not give you notice and will shut you off. Gas and electric are provided together on one bill and must be paid as such. Deposits to get utilities are outrageous and also have to be paid on time or else you get shut off for that too- you get six weeks to pay that but at the same time you pay your regular bill.
    Property taxes have been a huge issue of contention as well. They have increased significantly(some at least double and triple what they previously were) but I have found that for houses that have market values under let’s say $180,000, the rates are not that bad but are not consistent even by neighborhood comparables and with no explanation. But houses over that, it depends on the town, location and I have seen astronomical property tax rates that are very similar to IL or sometimes more than depending on locale. There’s still a huge issue over the property taxes for business property as opposed to residential property with the divide being that residents feel they have been paying more than their fair share than business’ have been since the change happened about 7 years ago. I have not seen housing prices go up over the last 7 years(in fact it has been the opposite- most declined and others stagnated) and thus the equity in homes here have not appreciated at the rates that have been seen in Illinois or in other parts of the country. This is actually why rental units are cheaper. It’s not an investment to buy a home if the home does not appreciate in value.
    The comparison of IL to IN and TN is ridiculous. Does Bill Brady not know of the big corruption of Northwest Indiana politics that also rivals IL? There are areas of Indiana that I do not feel safe going with my multi-racial family and this is 2010. These areas are not even that far- ex: Valpo. Some townships are still good ole boy networks and believe me there is corruption; bigotry and racism that still exist- especially since these communities have truly not changed much and they don’t pretend to hide it. It just doesn’t “appear” to be corrupt in the statehouse in Indianapolis. Maybe because I’m from IL and I am still so tied to IL politics that I am cynical, but as far as I’m concerned politicians are politicans- some are just better at covering their antics than others.


  65. - car - Thursday, Oct 21, 10 @ 3:01 pm:

    Sorry for the long post- it’s longer than some of VMan’s songs. Sorry!


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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