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*** UPDATED x1 *** Report: Quinn wants tax hike made permanent

Wednesday, Mar 26, 2014

* Give him credit for taking a very risky stand

Gov. Pat Quinn has prepared an election-year spending proposal that would make permanent the 67 percent income tax increase set to expire in 2015 and couple it with property tax relief for homeowners, sources familiar with the plan said Tuesday.

Quinn planned to tell lawmakers in his Wednesday budget address that the temporary tax increase he signed into law in 2011 is needed to fund education, said one of the sources who was briefed on his plan but not authorized to reveal the details in advance of the noon speech.

The property tax relief would take the form of a $500 refund, sources said. One source said it would be an annual refund as part of a restructuring of the current property tax break for income tax filers.

Quinn was also expected to tell lawmakers that the alternative is to drop the 5 percent income tax rate to 3.75 as scheduled on Jan. 1, but that would make state programs unsustainable, sources said.

*** UPDATE *** The Sun-Times now has more details

Quinn’s plan would reconfigure how Illinois homeowners deduct their property taxes by setting up a system in which they would get an automatic $500 tax credit. That change will roughly double the state’s outlay on property tax relief from approximately $650 million to $1.25 billion.

Now, they can deduct 5 percent of their property taxes, which one source called “regressive” because homeowners with more expensive properties get to deduct more than those living in more modest homes.

Since they wouldn’t qualify for the property-tax rebate, low-income renters would draw some benefit from the doubling of the state’s earned income tax credit during the next four years, as Quinn will propose, sources said.

* Related…

* Quinn to tout fiscal successes in budget address: On Tuesday, aides distributed a checklist of upbeat fiscal news Quinn is expected to highlight to a joint session of the House and Senate at noon. Included are reductions in the state’s backlog of bills and cuts in the state’s operating budget because of changes to the Medicaid program, the closure of prisons and savings in state office leases.

* Quinn’s budget may make income tax increase permanent

- Posted by Rich Miller        


79 Comments
  1. - Frustrated Voter - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 8:50 am:

    Did anyone really believe that the Democrats ever intended for this to be a “temporary” tax increase?


  2. - Bogart - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 8:51 am:

    What ever happened to the requirement that the Governor’s budget must assume no new revenues? Surely, simply asserting programs are not sustainable was not the intent of a law that requires the Governor to present a balanced budget and spending plan. That’s what I would call courage. The Budget is a policy document. Show us your priorities Quinn!


  3. - the Patriot - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 8:54 am:

    Exactly. We all knew that the best case scenario was the tax hike was a band aid. No one believed it solved anything. It would only work if the state had leadership capable of growing the economy which it does not. Quinn is no leader and Madigan cares more about power than putting people to work.

    Just say the word Pat and Mike, “we lied, we never intended for this to be temporary.”


  4. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 8:57 am:

    Well, here is a reality;

    Quinn will take enormous heat for this, and in many circles, this will not be very well received to say the least, but Quinn is recognizing that he needs revenues to cover budgetary expedatures.

    Those who want expiration now are on the hook too. Why?

    “Ok, you are against making it permanent, what is your solution for the lack of revenues, and if your response is budget cuts, specifically give those cuts now. The governor is specific, saying he wants the tax permanent, so be specific with your rebuttal.”

    Bold for Quinn, but now all the anti-permanent supporters need to step up, or at some point it just sounds hollow.

    I was for a phasing out the increase, giving wiggle room and time, but making it clear it will be going away. Quinn is out there now, for worse…or worse, but his case is about keeping it. If you are against it, make your case, and be solution based if ya can. At some point, a solution needs to be found one way or another.


  5. - Union Man - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 8:58 am:

    Who didn’t see this one coming. Lawmakers just need to curb their spending!! When this tax hike was put into place to help pay down the debt, they still kept overspending! Wait until the pension reform is overturned! They’ve got to cut spending!! Bottom line.


  6. - Del Wasso - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:02 am:

    Bottom line: Wealthy Americans got the cheap foreign labor they demanded with each new trade treaty our nation has entered into, and all the rest of us got were depressed wages and pink slips.

    If it is acceptable to lay-off an entire town to open up shop in Red China, it is equally acceptable to tax the living Bejeezus out of the outsourcers.


  7. - AnonymousOne - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:02 am:

    According to figures presented by US Bureau of Economic Analysis, modified as of June, 2013, Illinois, looking at GDP, is the 5th wealthiest state in the union. 2nd highest in the Midwest, trailing only Minnesota.
    It seems that we’re doing well, but all I hear is the Illinois is BROKE! Are we broke for only certain expenditures, things we give mouth to valuing (such as Education) but really don’t want our money going there? We rank abysmally low compared to other states in funding Education. So, if Illinois is not broke, what is the problem in funding basic human services for our citizens? Other states seem to be able to do it. And, given the financial statistics, only a few I cited here, if we are such a wealthy state, where is the money going?


  8. - Ray del Camino - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:03 am:

    Cut spending where? “Overspending” on what? Be specific. Otherwise you’re just blowing hot air and repeating somebody’s hollow talking points. I want to know where you’d cut.


  9. - RNUG - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:05 am:

    Brave move by Quinn. He’s done the math and being an adult.


  10. - WhoKnew - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:07 am:

    And we wonder how Quinn was going to make up with the Unions - now we know.

    Took a lot of guts on his part!


  11. - Jimbo - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:08 am:

    I suppose he was going to have to address this sooner or later, but… Maybe he should have hemmed and hawed and said we’d have to see what happens with Madigan’s CA


  12. - Jimbo - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:10 am:

    Lawmakers just need to curb their spending!!

    Yeah, where? Be specific. The structural deficit isn’t going to be fixed by cutting waste and fraud.


  13. - Rob Roy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:10 am:

    Hey Ray…The state bought land in Pike Co. they lowered the standard for housing subs, high speed rail systems, and lowered the requirements for ether Medicare. How about college tuition for illegals, I mean unregistered people. That’s what I want to cut. Is that specific enough?


  14. - reflector - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:13 am:

    If you want things you have to pay for them. I voted Republican the last few govs races but this time I’m all for Pat Quinn.


  15. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:13 am:

    That’s the difference between governing and campaigning.

    Quinn just made his tough re-election chances tougher, so he gets points for honesty. Quinn says he’ll seek to extend the tax, Rauner says he won’t. You can vote accordingly.

    It’s been done before. Edgar beat Hartigan taking a similar stand. Quinn beat Brady on a tax increase platform.

    But it ain’t going to be easy, not by a long shot.


  16. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:14 am:

    “How about college tuition for illegals”

    I’d be careful with this kind of language. You do want your party to win future elections, yes?


  17. - Del Wasso - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:16 am:

    Hey, Rob Roy… As of 2010, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 35.4% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 53.5%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 89%, leaving only 11% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers).

    If you think that’s going to be remedied by deporting even more than the record number of illegal aliens we have here, I’d have to ask you “How?”

    We have a DEMAND problem with our SUPPLY AND DEMAND ECONOMY.

    Us little folks ain’t got the cabbage to jumpstart our economy, and those who DO have the cabbage ain’t spending any of it, here at home.


  18. - Del Wasso - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:18 am:

    http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html


  19. - Jimbo - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:19 am:

    ==how about college tuition for illegals,==

    Yeah, how about it? Do you mean charging them in state tuition? If so, you do know the reason in state tuition is cheaper is that those families support the U through taxes right? It sure is easy looking down on folks who work crap jobs for scraps trying to give their kids a better life. While we’re at it we should punish their kids by charging them out of state tuition /snark. You live in state for a year, you can pay in state tuition. I don’t see that as giving away jack


  20. - Former Merit Comp Slave - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:22 am:

    I think it was a smart move to announce this so far ahead of the election. We all knew it was coming. People will have 6 months to digest it and Quinn will have 6 months to shout out the positives. Meanwhile Rauner will have to come up with specifics how he would handle budget without it


  21. - Rob Roy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:23 am:

    They just want a voting block any way. So here is my idea, give them all amnesty with the condition that they can not vote for 25 years. That’s the cost for breaking our laws and the price for citizenship. At the end of twenty five years they will have skin in the game so to speak.


  22. - One of three puppets - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:24 am:

    Pension reform will be overturned and so they must keep the revenue. It hurts to say this, but Quinn is acting like an adult here. Ouch…. I need to go to the ER now.


  23. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:25 am:

    If it hadn’t been for Quinn’s $54 million non-violence grant, I’d be more supportive Clearly, there is plenty of money sloshing around state government already for political purposes. And no signs of any cuts in those allocations.

    Now that we know the outlines of Quinn’s plan, it’s time for Rauner to display some of those financial skills which got him so far in life and make his own budget address. And no silliness about eliminating public employee unions in the first year (Wisconsin was an anomaly) and such. A real budget address). Soon.


  24. - A guy... - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:29 am:

    Politics is just like golf. Every shot makes someone happy. PQ just filled his road to success with pot holes. Now, several members of the GA are in a difficult situation too. If this passes, it will be with not a single GOP vote in either chamber and there will be an incredibly long line to the Speaker’s office to get permission to vote against it. I predict there will be a vote and this measure will be defeated. Every Democrat outside of the city better be unopposed if they vote for it. A few lame ducks might suddenly become “statesmen” and pay off a little campaign debt, but this rubber duck won’t float.

    Cue the bugler for the Governor. Even the Dems presented this as “temporary”. Thankfully Two Putt isn’t moving the chess pieces this time. There’s a chance for some serious gains.


  25. - OneMan - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:29 am:

    I think it was a smart move to announce this so far ahead of the election.

    Well unless they let him delay the budget address until after election day in November, he kind of has to announce it now, doesn’t he.


  26. - Huh? - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:30 am:

    When it was passed everybody knew that the tax increase was going to be permanent, it was only a matter of time. It was disingenuous to be sold as a temporary solution.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:35 am:

    === If this passes, it will be with not a single GOP vote in either chamber and there will be an incredibly long line to the Speaker’s office to get permission to vote against it.===

    True on the Dem side, but where the H&SDems have the advantage is, “The GOP voted ‘No’, like they voted ‘No’ on SSM, and voted ‘against’ everything else government needs. What are Republicans for?”

    Gotta at least show “something”, including Rauner.

    Where are the “cuts” specifically, and “Fundamdntally change government” sounds swell, now how does that translate to governing?


  28. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:36 am:

    –Meanwhile Rauner will have to come up with specifics how he would handle budget without it–

    No he won’t. Who’s going to make him? “Cut waste, run like a business, blah, blah, blah,” that will suffice for a campaign.

    Quinn is required to present a proposed budget. Difference between governing and campaigning.


  29. - Pensioner - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:40 am:

    “Hey Ray…The state bought land in Pike Co. they lowered the standard for housing subs, high speed rail systems, and lowered the requirements for ether Medicare. How about college tuition for illegals, I mean unregistered people. That’s what I want to cut. Is that specific enough?”

    That will get you a Happy Meal.


  30. - illinifan - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:41 am:

    To Rob Roy….facts are important Illinois did not lower requirements for medicare…Medicare is a federal program and only the feds can change the rules….Illinois did expand Medicaid under the Affordable care Act and the Center for Budget and Policy priorities says this “The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the Medicaid expansion will add very little to what states would have spent on Medicaid without health reform, while providing health coverage to 17 million more low-income adults and children. In addition, the Medicaid expansion will reduce state and local government costs for uncompensated care and other services they provide to the uninsured, which will offset at least some — and in a number of states, possibly all or more than all — of the modest increase in state Medicaid costs. Expanding Medicaid is thus a very favorable financial deal for states.” The reality is yes there are times things cost money, and sometimes you have to live with the cost to achieve a savings (you do this when you lay out the cost to replace a leaky roof on your house….in the long run this cost saves you from very costly repairs in the home).

    Tuition for illegals is a popular email myth…Illinois just allows them to be tuition at in resident rates and that is only given to persons who can prove Illinois residence, if illegal and live out of state you still get to pay the full out of state rate


  31. - Anon - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    Olgilvie is ranked among the ten best governors because he recognized the state needed more revenue. So he led the drive for the first income tax.

    Before Rauner excoriates Quinn for acting responsibly, Bruce should explain whether he favors raising other taxes. Or will BR take the no-new taxes pledge?

    I bet the bond houses will react favorably. But the GOP won’t be catering to the bond houses now.


  32. - Rob Roy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:45 am:

    Del Wacco Lets just move forward quickly and go strait into communism why mess around with all the class war/socialist crap you clowns keep pushing. I am not rich and will likely never be but taxing the rich into poverty is not the answer. I have just as much of a chance to work my butt off toward that goal as you or anybody else has.


  33. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:46 am:

    === Now, they can deduct 5 percent of their property taxes, which one source called “regressive” because homeowners with more expensive properties get to deduct more than those living in more modest homes. ===

    Uh yea, and those that live in more expensive properties pay more in property taxes — it’s progressive, not regressive.


  34. - From the 'Dale to HP - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    I disagree with those who say this is a brave move by Quinn. No doubt the state is looking over a fiscal cliff, but if this is the ‘best’ idea the governor has, Lord help him and us. Extending the tax increase is, imo, the worst choice Quinn could make. Ideas like expanding the sales tax base to fighting (and being a leader for once) for a graduated income tax would have been courageous. This proposal just shows the lack of creative thinking, policy knowledge and political will the governor has.


  35. - AnonymousOne - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:54 am:

    Quinn is showing leadership. When you look at Illinois’ wealth and compare other surrounding states’ tax rates, there is no excuse for slashing services to citizens. Iowa’s highest tax rate is almost 9%, Wisconsin, 7.65%, Ohio, 5.93%,Kentucky, Missouri both 6%. And some want to go back to 3.75 and complain about not having enough revenue?


  36. - From the 'Dale to HP - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:55 am:

    @Just Observing they may pay more but their rates on property are lower. Compare some of those south suburban property tax rates to the North Shore.


  37. - A guy... - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    === Anon - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    Olgilvie is ranked among the ten best governors because he recognized the state needed more revenue. So he led the drive for the first income tax.

    Before Rauner excoriates Quinn for acting responsibly, Bruce should explain whether he favors raising other taxes. Or will BR take the no-new taxes pledge?

    I bet the bond houses will react favorably. But the GOP won’t be catering to the bond houses now.===

    Anon, I don’t dispute a single word you say here. Ogilivie knew this move would cost him an election. He also knew the state had no real source of reliable income to draw off of. That’s fact #1. Fact #2- No one will ever mistake Pat Quinn for Dick Ogilvie. One ran a very tight ship before asking for more revenue.


  38. - Neglected stepchild - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    I see the tax gobblers are doing the happy dance.


  39. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    Still waiting for those who “knew” the income tax rate would be permanent to provide a list of cuts with the dollar savings of those cuts attached. IPI? Msall? R Eden? Murphy? Radogno?


  40. - Johnny Q. Suburban - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:02 am:

    The problems PQ was going to have with suburbanites thanks to Rauner’s presence on the ticket might have just gotten a wee bit worse.


  41. - Rob Roy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:03 am:

    illinifan the affordable health care act is affordable !! I do stand corrected on the Medicare/Medicaid issue but were do you think the feds get their money? Taxes it is still coming out of your pocket. And by the time we all pay for health care we will all be low income families.


  42. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    Who do you think was paying for all those people without insurance before, Robbie boy?


  43. - Tough Guy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    Shades of Jim Edgar who campaigned on not allowing a temporary income tax increase sunset back in the mid 80’s. His Democratic opponent, Neil Hartigan, campaigned against allowing it to become permanent. We all know who won and has been championed as the last real financial manager for the State. Funny how the Republicans felt it was the responsible thing to do then.


  44. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:12 am:

    === - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:14 am:

    “How about college tuition for illegals”

    I’d be careful with this kind of language. You do want your party to win future elections, yes? ===

    This is precisely why the tax increase must stay and why no more spending will be cut. Across the board or program by program, there are ardent supporters in the constituencies of every single program that exists in this state. Each program promises to resolve a problem and folks believe the gov’t is the ultimate payor/savior in that regard.

    The group here knows how this works. They demand specifics (appropriately) and are ready with the stats to prove that each and every program is vital to the needs of each person the program is designed to assist.

    Yeah, we all knew this tax really needed to be permanent. We have heard the evidence that Illinois is really a low taxing state, etc etc.

    To the post - Quinn is taking a risky stand here. Real, across the board cuts have occurred. I know, I work for the state. I can also tell you increased spending has already begun - even in the tiny agency I work for.

    It’s all about perception. Ogilvie was for the income tax - he lost. Edgar had a different outcome. Quinn’s problem is the fact that he sold the increase in part by promising it would be temporary. Going back on his own word - “Read My Lips - No New Taxes” (GHW Bush, 1988).


  45. - Arizona Bob - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    =Cut spending where? “Overspending” on what? Be specific. Otherwise you’re just blowing hot air and repeating somebody’s hollow talking points. I want to know where you’d cut.=

    Herre ya go, Ray:
    1) Repeal prevailing wage requirements for non-federal public construction and end exclusive union agreements for such projects. This will not only help with the hundreds of millions we spend on transportation construction every year. This also will have ripple effects on K-12 construction and maintenance as well as for public universities and municipalities. The last numbers I saw showed this would save as much as $1.5 billion per year in state, school, and municipal construction costs.

    2) Amend the Education Labor Relations Act to prohibit strikes when a district is compensating staff above state average, or is already spending at least 65% of its instructional budget on teacher and instructional staff compensation. Between 1992 and 2011 spending in K-12 public education increased by 83% while inflation was about 40%. Most of that increase was coerced by unions by threat of strike, not market demand or improvement in quality of education and productivity. Class sizes decreased and objective measures of student performance declined.

    3) Revise the state funding formula to reduce state funding to districts with extravagant salary and benefit packages for staff. State aid, even flat grants, should be reduced on a sliding scale for districts compensating staff at at least 20% of state average for their category (HS, Unit, Elementary) also indexed for cost of living in the region.
    4) Amend the pension programs for new employees to a contributory 401K plan with matching funds provided by local districts and municipalities as they can afford. This is to be considered part of “compensation”.
    5)Sunset al discretionary grants that can’t be shown to save money providing necessary services that would normally be provided by the state or local government. These corrupt $54 million “end violence” boondoggles have to end.
    6)Stop subsidizing universities as overpriced patronage dynasties, and focus on providing quality instruction. The University of Illinois in Urbana spends less than 40% of its budget according to the last budget issued. The quality of the first two years of undergraduate education there is pathetic. Most of the “instruction” is doen by graduate students who have no teaching or professional experience, have no interest in teaching, and often are “English challenged”. We don’t need two floors of expensive office space on Wacker drive (as UIUC does), we need better instruction. We need to cut the patronage bloat (U of I has 3 employees for every student)and focus on imporivng instruction to at least JC level of quality, and perhaps live without paying professors for publishing another book on the history of Emily Dickinson.

    Well that’s a start. These are just the areas of reasonable economy of which I’ve been presonally involved. I’m sure more plugged in bloggers could find another billion or two in reduced spending that wouldn’t hurt services in the least.


  46. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    This thread will not be hijacked by a red herring debate over citizenship issues.

    Get back to the discussion about the budget or leave.


  47. - illinifan - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    Rob Roy….taxes pay for the ACA yes…but so do the premiums that people have to pay for the insurance…how do you think we have been paying for the cost of the uninsured previously…Under Regan ER’s were mandated by law to treat all persons regardless of ability to pay…to help cover that cost hospitals that serve a high number of poor get higher reimbursements (through taxes)….those reimbursements will decline under ACA so winds up just being a dollar ship from the uncompensated funds to insurance. All of us that were insured also paid for the uninsured by paying on an average $1000 a year extra in premiums (another shift of funds)….Hospitals and doctors also passed on the cost of uncompensated care through higher billing for those of us who were covered.

    Bottom line health care has never been free, even with ACA it won’t be free it just moves the money around. We need to decide if health care access and treatment is right or a privilege. If a basic right then we need to find a way to pay for it (taxes, fees, etc) if a privilege we charge all comers and you don’t get care unless you can pay. This would say if you are unfortunate to be poor, disabled, just go ahead and die.

    I don’t think any of us believe this is the course of action, so we need to be realistic and know that taxes will help fund this most basic human right and move on.


  48. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    Only the ignorant don’t recognize that the tax increase needs to be made permanent (or at least extended). It’s simple math.

    ==I’m sure more plugged in bloggers could find another billion or two in reduced spending that wouldn’t hurt services in the least.==

    A billion or two without hurting services? You’re joking right?


  49. - Walker - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    @Rob Roy: We’ve gotten a little off track with all this “socialism” and “wealth disparity” talk.

    Your list of cuts, if I can make a wild guess of what you’re actually talking about, sounds like it would probably cover less than 1% of the problem we have. Similar to the “let’s cut foreign aid” as a way to attack the federal deficit.

    It is time to put up or shut up, for both sides, with numbers that meet the simple arithmetic test.

    Radogno is capable of doing that, as are Cullerton, Durkin, and Madigan. Whether they do so with specifics are political choices. So far nothing real.

    The reality is that Quinn can outline the challenge, but the final budget is set in the legislature. The same would be true for Rauner in that office.


  50. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    “Rauner to display some of those financial skills which got him so far in life”

    Some of those “financial skills” resulted in massive loss of taxpayer dollars, as is being seen in the nursing home company’s quest to file banruptcy. How much Medicare and Medicaid money was misspent, and how much did company principals profit from government benefits?

    Also, those financial skills benefited unionized public workers when Rauner’s firm managed their pensions. That’s very bad, to some folks, because they argue that the pensions have damaged our state and are one of the main reasons we should elect Rauner. So Mr. Rauner helped public pensioners get those “fat” pensions, thus being a major part of the problem.


  51. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    Well, I certainly agree with Arizona Bob’s No. 6.
    The poor quality of much of US university-level education doesn’t get nearly enough attention, despite the enormous sums spent by consumers and taxpayers. Compared with k-12, US higher education is the Wild West in terms of quality and accountability.


  52. - Jimbo - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    Bob, you should know the difference between GRF and bond funds. Yes, it would save money in the very distant future, but it won’t mean squat to repeal prevailing wage today. Also, the state’s infrastructure is crumbling. There’s fifteen billion dollars worth of needed repairs. If we cut prevailing wage, we’d be able to address more of the problems, but it wouldn’t save a dime. The capital budget is constrained by dollars available, not by needed projects. You might save 20% on labor, but that will hardly translate into bid price. Also, not using union labor will cause supply issues, on site disputes over contractor responsibilities and cut one of the legs out from the purpose of capital projects. One of the largest incentives for doing them is to stimulate the economy with good paying jobs and the multiplier from those dollars going back into our economy. I’m not saying don’t do it, just that it has drawbacks too.


  53. - Great Caesar's Ghost! - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:45 am:

    What Quinn’s move does is sets up a referendum on the tax for November. If he wins the GA can feel more emboldened, and if he loses … then things are going to get real tough. It also puts advocate groups on notice … If you want it you’d better work hard for it.


  54. - fed up - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    Pinnochio Pat Quinn Lied to everyone in 2010 saying he would veto any tax increase over 4%, then he BS’d the whole state with Madigan & Cullerton by calling his lame duck tax increase Temporary, he wouldnt know the truth if it bit him time for him to move on, to bad the other choice is so dispicible


  55. - illinifan - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    Moving back to topic of tax rates….Illinois keeping a 5% rate is not a big issue when we look at rates for our border states: Iowa-.36-8.98%; Indiana-3.4%; Missouri-1.5-6%; Wisconsin 4.4-7.6%; Kentucky- 2.0-6%. As you can see most have graduated rates, and for us to move to this would require a constitutional amendment and that won’t happen. Because of the graduated rates (plus taking more aggressive action with spending at an earlier time period) these states are better positioned.

    We are where we are now, and need the revenue, so kudos to Quinn for being gutsy on this one. Now what he needs to do is be brutally honest, and then really focus on the spending and cleaning up this backlog before he takes on any other new programs other than those that have already been committed to. It is crazy what the state is spending in interest for unpaid bills and late Medicaid and Food Stamp decisions. Resolving these matters could put millions back into the state budget.


  56. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    Pat Quinn is a Democrat.
    Democrats love taxes.
    There will be no efficiencies, no improvements, no necessary cut backs, no changes in government as long as you allow it to eat more of your money.

    Remember when Big Business was considered a cancer upon society? Ah - the good old days!


  57. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    Illinois has a lower top income tax rate than almost every state around us. Our per capita income is higher than all or almost all states that surround us. Keeping the tax rate at 5% will still allow us to have a competitive tax rate compared with our neighbors.

    Since the 5% rate is competitive to our neighbors and may be lower overall (don’t know the tax tiers of other states), it seems that other factors are holding down our economic growth. We should look at some of those and determine what we can do to promote our economy, in my opinion.


  58. - fed up - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 11:14 am:

    “Since the 5% rate is competitive to our neighbors and may be lower overall (don’t know the tax tiers of other states), it seems that other factors are holding down our economic growth. We should look at some of those and determine what we can do to promote our economy, in my opinion. ”

    Grandson,

    this is true our workers comp laws do put us at a competitive disadvantage with some surronding states as far as manufacturing jobs, well just about any jobs.


  59. - SonofSuperAbe2014 - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    The state income tax is an important issue, but the discussion should center around overall state and local taxation. Illinois has one of the highest property tax rates of any state in the nation. Illinois has high sales tax and now high income tax rate. Why?? Could it be the silly amount of local governments in the state? Illinois has 2500 more local government entities then the next closest state. Want real political courage, get rid of townships and consolidate schools. Until then just get use to the taxes and quit complaining.


  60. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    @Vanillaman -

    C’mon, you can do better than that. Democrats love taxes?

    Madigan and the House Democrats led efforts to kill Blagojevich’s Gross Receipts Tax.

    Even Senate Republicans have said they are open to extending the tax increase, and the biz community is for making it permanent, albeit at a reduced level.

    This is not a debate about whether or not the state needs more revenue, but how much and where it should come from.

    I would bet if Quinn jettisoned property tax relief, his proposal would look an awful lot like the Civic Federation’s proposed 4 percent hike.

    Which means what we are really debating is whether to add a percentage point to provide broad based property tax relief and an expansion of the EITC.


  61. - Rob Roy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    Texas has no state income tax and it’s economy is one of the fastest growing in the nation. People are leaving New York and California with every tax increase. New York is now placing ads on TV begging business’ to come back with the promise of no taxes for 10 years. Illinois already has more people taking from the public treasury than pay in and that’s a fact. That is unsustainable.


  62. - Snucka - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    Has the Governor commented at all on the various “fair tax” proposals?


  63. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    “Texas has no state income tax and it’s economy is one of the fastest growing in the nation.”

    Minnesota just raised the income tax, and it’s not doing too shabbily. It has a low unemployment rate. California also raised its income tax, and though it’s not doing as well as Minnesota, I believe it’s shown fiscal progress in budgetary matters. I don’t know what Vermont’s state income tax rate is, but the state is working on implementing a public health insurance option. Vermont has one of the lower unemployment rates.

    Texas has the most people without health insurance and has the most making under the minimum wage, I believe, so it ain’t all peaches and cream.

    “People are leaving New York and California with every tax increase.”

    I did a brief search for this and found nothing conclusive to back it up.


  64. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    “Texas has no income tax…”…but it sure does have a bunch of oil money the rest of us don’t have.

    C’mon, man. Research just a tad before throwing this tripe out here.

    In related news, my Comcast Cable TV Program Guide advises: WILL-”Illinois Lawmakers Gov. Rod Blagojevich delivers the state budget address.”


  65. - For Whatever It's Worth - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 12:05 pm:

    In regard to Texas having such a great economy. Alot depends on your placement in the economy. I have a friend that operates a very successful roofing company in Texas and does very well financially. I don’t know how well his workers enjoy their $5.00 an hour cash payments. Also, as a worker in Texas, I’d sure hope that I never get sick or injured.


  66. - For Whatever It's Worth - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 12:13 pm:

    I’ve read some very insightful comments today regarding the state budget and basic economics. I’d like to make a comment regarding the basic bottom line of this story. Illinois is a very wealthy state and chooses to spend very little on basic human services. What group benefits the most from this practice? http://teacherpoetmusicianglenbrown.blogspot.com/


  67. - Jorge - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 12:13 pm:

    The genius that is Rick Perry said the same about people flocking to Texas…he was fact checked and proven incorrect like usual.


  68. - AnonymousOne - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 12:29 pm:

    When you have nothing else to offer you say that if anyone has to pay one more dollar in taxes everyone will leave. If that is true of you, don’t let the door hit you on your way out.


  69. - Anon - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 1:26 pm:

    == taxing the rich into poverty ==

    Hyperbole anyone?

    == Ogilvie ran a tight ship on the budget (unlike Quinn) ==

    Compare spending increases in discretionary spending under Quinn to any governor in our lifetimes. Spending on pensions has gone up because that’s how Edgar and Daniels set the ramp when they enacted the oension payment schedule. The fact is that Illinois ranks among the lowest spending state with the smallest burocracy per capita of any state.


  70. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    == taxing the rich into poverty ==

    LOL, the hits keep coming.


  71. - Barney Fife - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:17 pm:

    Illinois is a financial disaster. Even taxes won’t cure the issues. When does it end? Agencies need held accountablefor going over budget. Illinois has no growth or jobs. Something needs to change.


  72. - ejhickey - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 5:45 pm:

    “reductions in the state’s backlog of bills”

    to zero?


  73. - DuPage - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 5:50 pm:

    AZ Bob@10:20=U of I has 3 employees for every student=
    Where did you see that?


  74. - DuPage - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 6:46 pm:

    If someone owned nine properties, would they get $500 back on each one, or total of $500?


  75. - mythoughtis - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 6:56 pm:

    Do I want the higher income tax to be permanent? NO.

    Do I think it NEEDS to be permanent?
    YES.

    I am a rational adult. I can’t have my cake and eat it to0, and get to pick my flavor, and have it be calorie free (for those who read the wonderful post a few days ago). We can’t cut our way out of this mess.


  76. - Just The Way It Is One - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 8:11 pm:

    Well, we just have to keep it, like it or no, and folks are already used to paying it already, so they can quit their whining. Too many Bills to pay in Illinois, and honesty/Good Government demands we keep it–all other talk is sheer hogwash/political garble…!


  77. - Donkey Dem - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 8:20 pm:

    In 2011 the State had roughly 9 billion in unpaid bills. After the tax increase the State washed through 24 billion and reduced the unpaid backlog of unpaid state invoices by a mere 2.5 billion dollars. Now that’s sound fiscal management. !


  78. - ejhickey - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:22 pm:

    Donkey Dem

    the current amount of unpaid bills for the state is about $5.6 billion. your $2.5 billion figure is the target number for 2019.


  79. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 7:47 am:

    =AZ Bob@10:20=U of I has 3 employees for every student=
    Where did you see that?=

    I apologize. In my haste I switched the numbers. There is one employee for every three students.

    Bob@10:20=U of I has 3 employees for every student.
    Where did you see that? The U of I budget report listed the number of university employees and equivalent full time students. I divided the number of students by number of employees. I regret this clerical error.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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