*** UPDATE 1 *** The Rauner folks just found some new audio of Quinn debating Democratic primary opponent Dan Hynes in January of 2010, months after Quinn testified on that Senate bill. Here’s what Quinn said about the Senate’s revenue bill that included the new service tax…
Quinn: “Rev. Sen. Meeks, who’s my friend and who’s supporting me, feels the same way I do and he got a bill passed through the Illinois Senate that I support and I testified for it in the Illinois House… We don’t forget people in need. If they need education, then we invest in it. And I think the only way to do it is to do it the right way, the way Sen. Meeks has proposed… I called up Mike Madigan that night, one minute after Rev. Meeks got that bill passed, and I said ‘Mike, how about tomorrow let’s go vote for that’ and he said ‘No.’ But I went and testified for it for two hours with David Miller.”
I’m tempted to withdraw the question. Your thoughts?
*** UPDATE 2 *** I’ve given it some thought and I’m withdrawing the question. Quinn obviously worked to pass this bill, which included a service tax, then months later touted his support for the bill.
[ *** End Of Updates *** ]
* From the AP…
Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner said Thursday he wants to lower Illinois’ income tax rate, freeze property taxes and impose a new sales tax on some services, a plan he said would help improve the economy and grow jobs but that Gov. Pat Quinn dismissed as “a dumb idea.” […]
“This is a dumb idea and I don’t believe people in Illinois are going to buy it whatsoever,” the Chicago Democrat said […]
[Rauner’s] campaign also raised an eyebrow at Quinn’s criticism, saying the governor testified in favor of a 2009 budget proposal that included a tax on services, including dry cleaning. But Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said that testimony was part of budget negotiations. The governor only favored part of the proposal, and not the tax on services, she said.
The Rauner campaign is doing its level best to connect Quinn to Rauner’s service sales tax proposal. But Quinn’s campaign has pushed back hard against this notion that Quinn testified on behalf of the service tax, and they point to his budget address this year, during which he forcefully opposed a service tax. Quinn likely did so because Rauner long ago signaled that he was open to the tax.
* Gov. Quinn was asked specifically about the service tax during that 2009 testimony. This audio was sent to me on background…
Question: “Governor, there’s…we’ve had conversations talking about Illinois’ competitiveness and I know you’re concerned about that issue. But, raising taxes…income tax, and sales tax the way this bill does, what is that going to do to our competitiveness?
Quinn: “Well, I think our biggest problem when you talk about taxation and business job creation is the property tax system. We have to address that. The Illinois property tax system is antiquated, it was written in the 19th century, it’s hundreds of pages long. This is an opportunity to address property taxes and reforming them, and reducing them. I think that we have to deal with that if we want to have a good job climate and that to me is one of the features of this bill that is a very good one. It is a strong effort to get the state of Illinois pay at least half the cost of education and to reduce the property tax burden on families and businesses.”
* Brooke Anderson’s complete response, slightly edited for style…
The Governor clearly stated his position on service tax this year in his budget address.
Re 2009, the bill HB 174 was based on a long-standing proposal known as SB 750. Among key components, the bill did the following, all of which the Governor has long supported:
-raised the income tax from 3-5%
-provided signficcant new property tax relief
-provided an increase in the personal exemption
-increased the earned income tax credit
At the time, this was the last day of session and it was a comprehensive package designed to address the State’s fiscal challenges, avert the cliff and impending bond downgrades, and to reduce reliance on property taxes for funding eduction, one of the Governor’s top priorities– it was also the vehicle for revenue and a work in progress like so many things in Springfield. This is pretty obvious when you watch the clips.
The sales tax to services piece was a minor component and advocated by Senate Democrats - not the Governor- the above-listed were the key parts and sought by the Governor
When asked if he supports the bill in Q&A, the Governor says it is worthy of debate and stresses the need to reduce property taxes and balance the budget. He urges consideration and further dialogue.
The clip rauner’s camp sent is consistent with all this - the Governor makes no reference to sales taxes on services and clearly speaks to the need to reduce property taxes. Also I can’t even confirm it’s from the same committee hearing where the Governor testified because there are no details available, date, etc. - just sketchy freeze frame & audio.
Here’s more video:
* The Question:
Is this a fair hit by Quinn on Rauner’s “dumb” plan, or is it a fair retort by Rauner that Quinn supported a similar “dumb” plan, or is it both or is it neither? Withdrawn.