Permanent. Pretty much the same as RNUG. I think that any responsible politician with any fiscal authority has to start dealing with reality. Maybe new revenues are part of it, but shirking the dysfunctional current mess is immature.
- prisoner of cook - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 1:32 pm:
Let it expire. It was supposed to pay aoof past due bills but the GA & PQ just spent it on nwe boondoggles. They never use new revenue to fix old mistakes just make new ones!
I think we should phase it out a 1/4% at a time down to 3.75% and readjust from there. I say this realizing that revenue and spending analysis would need to be completed before making any kind of bill. I would be more inclined to support reducing the income tax while looking at modernizing (expanding) the sales tax.
While I support the gradual reduction of the income tax, Illinois can not afford to repeal as previously scheduled. Doing so gradually will allow the government to capture natural revenue growth, modernize the sales tax and implement spending reforms such as cleaning the medicaid rolls.
Also, all revenue discussions needs to be in the context of growing the economy and fixing policies that will create jobs (workers comp, UI, etc).
- Robert the Bruce - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 1:33 pm:
I don’t trust that pension cuts will survive the courts, I don’t think that Medicaid should be cut more, and I don’t see enough other realistic spending cuts.
So I voted for make it permanent.
- Joe Bidenopolous - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 1:35 pm:
There are no realistic cuts that would balance the budget out there considering the backlog already in place. In lieu of a graduated tax option, I chose permanent.
I voted for permanent, but that was a stand-in for the so-called fair tax. I think we can’t afford the revenue loss, and I’d hate to see more cuts made that would affect the most vulnerable and poor, when we could get revenue from those who can better afford it.
The State already has too little money to pay its bills. Ideally the Constitution should be changed to allow a graduated personal income tax (or we could have a 10% rate with a $40,000 per family exemption which is not as good but requires no amendment to the constitution). But just allowing the present rate to revert with no other changes? No way.
Anyone who supports cutting the income tax please explain how you would cut $1.6 billion (loss of revenue) from this years Budget? Please be specific. And don’t tell me your going to “cut the red tape” and “get rid of the state airplanes.” Try to be as factual as possible when you describe what program you would cut and what it would save.
It’s lower then most neighbors and the state is still trying to pay off the bills it created over the last 20 decades (I’m being nice with only counting to 20 years).
Fact is, they don’t have a way of paying for the bills without the money.
It was passed as a “temporary increase” even by many of the cowardly lame ducks who voted for it. Expire. You want it to be permanent, then propose a new bill with a new assembly at the beginning of a term. Ax it.
I said keep it permanent, but with the caveat that the Republican leaders gets to craft a budget. My guess is they couldn’t, even with the 5% tax, craft a balanced budget.
- thechampaignlife - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 2:18 pm:
Permanent. And if the graduated tax rate can’t pass, how about a graduated personal exemption based on income. It’s effectively the same thing without the rate itself being graduated (and therefore doesn’t require a consitutional amendment).
I said phase it out. it was passed as a temporary tax but we are still in dire straits. let’s elect a new bunch of legislators who will actually make the hard decisions to gore someone’s ox (even mine) so we can see some sort of end to this problem.
I voted for make it permanent. If the option of “replace it with a progressive income tax” had been available, I would have chosen that. The state needs the money. There is little if any fat to cut from the current budget. Therefore, the only way to meet the obligations of government is higher taxes.
They gave us their word that it would expire….I think. They may have said “We think it will expire but we’ll just count on the money, spend it like it will always be there, and buy everyone a kitty.”
- wondering in Lake County - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 2:52 pm:
Illioisians are the fourth highest taxed in the country. Why does everybody have a problem living within their means? Sorry, if it results in across the board cuts, so do it. There is enough money sloshing around in every government agency to be able to afford cuts.
Sunshine 2:50 beat me to my line. However, mine is a differnet take. It’s about time we do something to instill trust in the GA. ( I didn’t say R or D) We have serious work ahead of us as a state. If the past is prologue, the word of the electeds (Gov and GA) is no good. No matter the reason, it is untrustworthy. If they honored their word on this and let it expire, the next proposed increase would have at least the appearnce of honesty. Keeping it is the wrong thing to do, equal to past practices regarding pension support et al. When is someone’s word going to be good?
Keep it but raise the personal exemption and index it to inflation. Would serve as a quasi-graduated income tax that would not require constitutional amendment. According to David Merriman in the budget toolbox, after adjusting for inflation, the personal exemption is worth half of what it was when the income tax was instituted.
The money is needed no doubt but that was known when Quinn lied to everyone before the election and stated he would veto any increase above 4%. Quinn lied and signed the 5% increase and no the problem didnt get worse in between the statement and the signing. Quinn and his lies and lack of leadership need to go. Their was a reason this tax was passed in the lame duck session with votes bought with the promise of state jobs. Madigan & Cullerton also knew the tax was needed and could not be sunsetted yet they did, bad policy and bad leadership.
I voted it should be made permanent. The state has a serious revenue problem. There are certainly other ways to address it, but this is the only thing out there with a decent chance of passing in the very near future.
- Just The Way It Is One - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 7:25 pm:
The RIGHT and altogether HONEST answer is #2, although as a Master Compromiser Dillard has suggested, the option behind “Door #3″ can work, too, if need be, as a COMpromise, just so long as Illinois keeps those OBviously MORE than-needed Revenues flowing into paying off our GarGANtuan debts! Picking any other number is just plain, irresponsible Campaign/Election Year Gobbledygook and should be outright ignored and denounced as such…!
Lowering the income flat rate tax from 5% back to 3.75% would result in a $3.8B reduction in revenue. That would be a giant hole in the budget for which nobody seems to have any solution other than vague ideas using unspecified reductions in spending.
I voted to let it expire because it was temporary. If a new tax is necessary because the temporary tax didn’t solve the problems, then a new tax or another temporary tax should be passed to solve the current problems (e.g., if SB1 is ruled unconstitutional, current bill backlog, etc.).
- nothingsuprisesme - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 6:31 am:
I give up. Make it permanent. Do we have a choice? What would our credit rating be if we lowered our tax rate? The better solution would be to increase the personal exemption and increase the rate but I doubt if that’s feasible. But while we’re at it, go ahead and tax pensions in Illinois. How much revenue would this raise?
- SERS retiree and concerned citizen - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 6:38 am:
Keep the flat tax, and needs test some of the breaks. Instead of unconstitutionally whacking State Retirement Programs, begin taxing retirement benefits for any retiree over a certain income. This doesn’t hurt your competitiveness with nearby States, it increases revenue, and it is constitutional. I make more retired than my daughter may ever earn working and I pay no taxes for all the State services I receive. It’s a great deal for me but it sure isn’t fair!
===Quin didn’t use the money for pensions last time===
“Perhaps the most ill-informed blog comment of the year.”
I am an English teacher, so I like to parse words. I know that a huge portion of the money did get put into the pension system, but technically the money (at least a vast majority of it) is debt service. For TRS, less than $1 billion went to current went to fund current and future liabilities. The rest was for years of welching.
I voted for phasing out. Then phase in a graduated income tax. Less shock to the system.
Let it expire and change the base for the income tax to federal taxable income. That would raise a lot of revenue and be much more progressive than what we have now, without any constitutional questions. And cut the giveaways from the state income tax: EIC, real estate tax credit, and education tax credit.
- Logic not emotion - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 9:12 am:
They sold it as a temporary tax. They should be held to that. If they wish to pass a permanent tax (which would probably be prudent), they should vote to pass a permanent tax.
To do otherwise just leads credence to all those who initially claimed the tax was going to be permanent and increases the justified distrust of state legislators/administration.
- nothingsuprisesme - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 6:31 am:
I ran some numbers last year on taxing retirement income, including both Social Security and pensions. Dependig on assumptions, you would most likely get between $0.8B and $1.2B. If there was a substansial deduction, say equal to average SS, then you are looking at the $0.8M end of it or even less. It’s not the gold mine people think it will be. The biggest new revenue source would be a sales tax on services, followed by an increased (or maintained) personal income tax.