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For a service tax before he was against it

Friday, Mar 28, 2014

* Gov. Pat Quinn said during his budget address this week that he was adamantly against a service tax

And as we work together to forge a solution, let me be clear about what I won’t do.

I won’t institute any new, unfair taxes on everyday services that working people rely on. It hurts working families the most to tax basic services like going to the Laundromat…like taking your child to daycare…like visiting the barber shop…or taking your dog to the vet.

We should not create a new and unfair tax burden on everyday families and the small businesses that serve them.

Bruce Rauner has said he is open to such a tax, which is probably why the line was inserted into the speech.

* But Rauner’s campaign dug up a couple of articles from 2009 when Quinn backed just such a tax…

In 2009, Quinn Supported A Tax Hike Plan Passed By Senate Democrats That Would Have Applied The State Sales Tax To “Dozens Of Services.” “Democrats warned of severe cuts in education and health-care funding without a tax increase, but couldn’t muster the votes in the House for a two-year, 50 percent increase in the personal income tax. The House likewise balked at the prospect of considering a Senate-backed plan to raise the income tax 67 percent and apply the state sales tax to dozens of services. Republicans, the minority in both chambers, opposed all tax-increase plans and blamed Democrats for a new round of dysfunction made infamous during the tenure of ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich. With lawmakers facing the need to revisit the budget talks in coming months, post-session voting requirements will give the GOP a seat at the bargaining table. Rookie Gov. Pat Quinn, who supported both failed tax plans, said he would call legislative leaders together Monday to work on putting together a better budget than one that is ‘hopelessly out of balance.’” (Rick Pearson and Ray Long, “Tax Hike Defeated; Budget Gap Remains,” Chicago Tribune, 6/1/09)

Quinn Testified In Favor Of The Senate Tax Hike Plan Before An Illinois House Committee. “The Senate Democrats’ 2009 income tax increase bill also included a provision extending the state’s sales tax to services, such as haircuts, that are not taxed now. Quinn testified for the bill before a House committee.” (Chris Wetterich, “Quinn, Brady Far Apart On Taxes,” The State Journal-Register, 10/3/10)

- Posted by Rich Miller        


21 Comments
  1. - Living in Machiaville - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    Stating the obvious - One of the least suprising things is for a elected person to change a position on an issue. Whether for political or heartfelt reasons. Quinn did this for political reasons clearly.


  2. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    ==Stating the obvious - One of the least suprising things is for a elected person to change a position on an issue==

    Cue up “Typical politics and lies by a career politician”


  3. - circularfiringsquad - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    So now we ave a little more definition to the shape of the campaign. If Mitt “I Am Not A Whimp” Rauner can used 5 year old material to launch an attack we can go back at least that so see what the grandma killer/taxer was up to with his ventures
    Should be fun


  4. - Jimbo - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:30 am:

    What was the tax that would hit “dozens of citizens”? I would think a service tax would hit nearly everyone. It seems these two items are supposed to prove Quinn supported a service tax, and I know he did, but they don’t read that way. Also, supporting a service tax before the income tax hike, and when all assumed the flat tax was inviolate isn’t incompatible with being adamantly against it now. Has Quinn said he was ALWAYS against a service tax?


  5. - VanillaMan - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:32 am:

    Government needs revenue. When it bases that revenue on changing markets, they have to review where the market changed and what revenue to take in order to remain in the governing business.

    It isn’t magic.

    Paul Green kept telling me, “It is all about who pays.” Naturally he is correct.

    We need revenue from for profit organizations that succeed, survive and grow. Taxing for profit organizations that are not succeeding, surviving and growing is a dead end. You tax where the profit is made.

    We are in a service-based economy. That is where the profit is.

    Rauner obviously sees it. Quinn does too, but would rather not tell us that he knows it too. You want the honest guy, or the guy who claims to be honest, but hides behinds his sights of hand like his temporary Quinncome Tax.

    It matters. If you keep supporting the liars, it seems that eventually you end up with governors in jail. If we raise our standards, we might get told the truth enough to rebuild some kind of trust between voters and Illinois government.


  6. - MidnightSpecial - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    While this is the sort of reversal one expects from a long serving office holder, Rauner may want to be careful throwing around the “flip flopper” accusation; especially considering his obfuscations on organized labor and the minimum wage


  7. - OneMan - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:45 am:

    Well the question I guess is then governor, why are some consumption taxes good (like the sales tax) and some consumption taxes bad (taxes on some services).

    I understand Quinn is the great protector of the middle class and all, but really taxing a haircut is tough on the middle class? The extra you might pay on a vet bill is going to be a problem?

    Hell if you care about the middle class so much, do something about cell phone taxes Gov.


  8. - Sir Reel - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    Quinn’s proposal trades off a 2% income tax hike for a $500 property tax cut. Ignoring deductions that means if you make $25,000 a year it’s a wash. If you make more then it’s not such a good deal.

    Plus how many of us have seen our property taxes go up and up? After a while a $500 break doesn’t seem so great.

    Getting back to the question, before the “temporary” income tax increase, a service sales tax made sense. However now that the “temporary” income tax increase is here, extending it is the easier lift.

    So Quinn comes down hard on the service sales tax. Just more of his pandering to his base - along with doubling the earned income break.


  9. - Anon - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    My personal thoughts on flip flops is that they are acceptable, if a decent amount of time has passed and/or the game has dramatically changed.

    Quinn’s fits that bill. Rauner on the minimum wage does not.


  10. - One to the Dome - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    That was part of a education reform package.


  11. - Generation X - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    lol @ anon

    Flip flops are ok if a candidate I support does it, but not so much if it is his opponent.


  12. - OneMan - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    Flip flops are ok if a candidate I support does it, but not so much if it is his opponent.

    True that…


  13. - Norseman - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    Flip Flopping is an almost universal occupational hazard. The good politician has staff expert enough to put a persuasive spin on the flip when it occurs or the politician becomes a flop.


  14. - Living in Machiaville - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    Anon 10:48 “Quinn’s fits that bill. Rauner on the minimum wage does not.” I can’t buy that. It would seem that your criteria of time passing or game changing is good for the goose but not the gander. Mostly depending on whom you support. But whether it’s wage or tax policy, a change of position is a change. They both did it and it seems that neither can rightly point the flip-floppy finger at each other without being hypocritical.


  15. - 47th Ward - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    ===We should not create a new and unfair tax burden on everyday families and the small businesses that serve them.===

    That still leaves the door open to taxing some services, like oh, I don’t know, maybe country club memberships or accountants or brokerages or private aviation, etc. You get the idea.


  16. - Walker - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    Quinn should be demanding both.


  17. - Jimbo - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    Living, taxes have substantially changed since Quinn favored a service tax. Whether the change was political or not he has a good justification for the change in position. He favored raising it when the income tax rate was 3%. Now with higher rates, he is against it. One can easily see how he sees it as bad policy now that we have higher rates.

    Rauner’s position on the elimination of the minimum wage changed overnight, and it only changed because he took heat for it.

    Look, flip flops aren’t necessarily bad. I wish pols could change their mind easier about most things, but Quinn didn’t flip flop, he evolved. Rauner flip flopped.


  18. - Challengerrt - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 11:58 am:

    All persons have a right to change their mind if they believe that the change of mind results in a betterment for the people. Besides that was 5 years ago. Things change people change! Come on


  19. - DuPage Rep - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    ==if they believe that the change of mind results in a betterment for the people==
    or if they believe that the change of mind results in a betterment for their political prospects…

    Guess it is just a matter of perspective


  20. - OneMan - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 1:28 pm:

    That still leaves the door open to taxing some services, like oh, I don’t know, maybe country club memberships or accountants or brokerages or private aviation, etc. You get the idea.

    Looking forward to seeing what services I use qualify as ‘rich guy’ services….


  21. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 2:57 pm:

    Dear Chip:

    Attacking Pat Quinn for opposing the sales tax expansion when he once supported it just underscores the fact that Bruce Rauner is considering expanding the sales tax.

    To quote my grandpa: “You can’t dig your way out of a hole,”, or as I sometimes say, “When you find yourself in a deep hole, the first thing you need to do is stop digging.”


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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