* Madeleine Doubek…
The frustrating part of this election year is that few politicians are willing to commit to details that could come back to haunt them. Give Quinn credit for announcing he wants to go back on his word, change the law, and raise taxes to 5 percent. Yet neither he nor Republican challenger Bruce Rauner nor anyone else is giving any of us much detail about how we might create more jobs or live within the 3.75 percent tax rate Democrats passed into law in 2011.
Actually, Gov. Quinn has detailed what would happen if the income tax hike is allowed to expire. It’s all right here.
* What frustrates me so much about the governor is he keeps talking about tons of new spending, like the $700 million net annual cost of sending property owners a $500 check before election day, and every year thereafter.
And then there’s this…
Gov. Pat Quinn [yesterday] dangled a possible replacement to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to raise property taxes to restructure two Chicago pension funds: give the city a bigger cut of state income taxes. […]
Mr. Quinn did not discuss how to fund the move given his prior ideas to boost aid to education, pay off state bills, and hand each homeowner an annual $250-a-year state property tax “refund.”
But Mr. Quinn left little doubt in his remarks to the City Club and in answering reporters’ questions that he thinks a deal is available that would be good for him and the mayor, as well as for suburban communities which face their own woes paying for pensions. […]
Until the “temporary” income-tax hike went into effect in 2011, local municipalities received an automatic 10 percent cut of all state income-taxes raised from their residents. That was not the case with the incremental $7 billion or so a year the state gets from the “temporary” income-tax hike.
If the traditional 10 percent share were applied to the entire proposed permanent income-tax hike, Chicago alone would net $140 million to $150 million a year, according to a revised rough estimate by Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation.
Subscribers know more about how Quinn plans to pay for some of this.
But time is fast running out on the spring session. And legislators who are already nervous about voting to make the tax hike permanent before an election may not be amenable to new revenue streams.
* The truth is that Mayor Emanuel badly botched his pension reform bill. He negotiated an agreement with the unions which included a state-mandated local property tax hike without first checking with anybody to see if it could pass the General Assembly or be signed into law. As it turned out, the plan was dead before the ink was dry on the proposal.
And now Quinn is in a huge bind because he’s claiming that Rauner will raise property taxes with his proposed budget cuts.
But that doesn’t give Quinn an excuse to wish into existence magic budget dust.
So, yeah, Rauner is definitely guilty of running away from all specifics. But Quinn can’t continue to hammer his opponent while also refusing to specify how he plans to address this local pension funding issue.
And if he is “open” to discussions, it’s past time that he got those talks off the ground.