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This just in… Quinn says “No” to amnesty, “Yes” to longer session

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010

* 12:55 pm - Well, there goes maybe $250 million down the drain

Gov. Pat Quinn said today he isn’t inclined to go along with a tax amnesty program to raise money for the cash-strapped state. […]

“We’ll look at anyone’s proposal, but I wouldn’t hold my breath,” Quinn said. “We already had one in 2003. You can’t have amnesties all of the time. After a while, people start to think just wait for the next amnesty.” […]

Quinn ducked a question about calling lawmakers into special session if they leave town without approving the income tax surcharge he wants for education. The legislature has set a May 7 adjournment date, but Quinn talked about continuing budget negotiations through the entire month.

He has a valid argument, but as I told subscribers last week, the Democratic leaders wanted to use that amnesty cash to help shield education from Quinn’s proposed cuts. And Quinn’s comments on negotiating the budget through the month of May looks ominous to Statehouse types who would rather not deal with this crud any more.

And the governor said he’s hoping to find a magic pony at the bottom of that wretched pile…

“The thing that we would like to see, if at all possible, is getting more money for education from Washington,” the governor said today after speaking to a group of park district executives in Springfield.

Illinois got about $1 billion last year from the federal government for schools but Quinn said “we have to be realistic” and not expect that much again.

* 1:04 pm - The governor also said he supports legislation that passed both chambers to tie gubernatorial candidates to lt. governor candidates in the primary.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

13 Comments
  1. - Nick Adams - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 1:10 pm:

    No one talks aboutthe costs of the Tax Amnesty to the state. The amnesty forgives penalties and interests in most cases. There are many cases which are old, and so these have large penalties and interest due. Many are close to being finalized, but the amnesty stops the state from collecting the extra money due from these tax cases. These will be collected eventually, but to give an amnesty now would give a windfall to tax payers who drag out their cases, amounting to millions lost to the state. Quinn should veto this bill if it gets to his desk.


  2. - JonShibleyFan - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 1:14 pm:

    Apropos of nothing, Quote of the day. Bill Black, insisting a bill of his had been hijacked:

    “This place just isn’t run the way it used to be when Gary LaPaille was around.”


  3. - Greg B. - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 1:43 pm:

    I’m going to regret saying this, I’m sure. But Quinn’s argument against a tax amnesty is the same argument immigration restrictionist’s use.

    It’s the same argument.


  4. - TaxMeMore - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 1:48 pm:

    If the GA made Cook County and Chicago reign in their outrageous cigarette taxes, the state would bring in more revenue. In 2004, tobacco taxes brought in $760 million, but in 2009 that was down to $582 million because of their tax hikes. Non-smokers are on the hook for that $178 million per year reduction in tax revenues right now. Lower Cook County’s cig tax from $2.00 to $0.50 and Chicago’s from $0.68 to $0.50 and we’ll bring jobs and economic activity back to the state.


  5. - Robert - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 2:00 pm:

    @TaxMeMore, can the GA force local govts to change their tax structure? they may be able to, you may be right; I’m just asking


  6. - fed up - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 2:03 pm:

    Hmm I wonder if ” We’ll look at anyone’s proposal, but I wouldn’t hold my breath,” Quinn said. “We already had one in 2003. You can’t have amnesties all of the time. After a while, people start to think just wait for the next amnesty.” Does Quinn feel this way about illegal immigration. Is he tougher on tax dodgers then persons who are Illegals.


  7. - Pat Robertson - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 2:19 pm:

    ==@TaxMeMore, can the GA force local govts to change their tax structure? they may be able to, you may be right; I’m just asking ==

    Yes. Article 7, Section 6(g) of the Constitution.

    And no way would the amnesty bring in $250 million in new money.


  8. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 2:20 pm:

    PR, the last amnesty, done a relatively few years after the previous amnesty, netted over $500 million.


  9. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 2:23 pm:

    With regards to a “tax amnesty” how much of that is basically uncollectible? Those who die with no assets for example? Or corporations with no assets? The amounts of taxes owed that the State carries on its books, how much of that is actually collectible? Anyone have a number on this?


  10. - Ghost - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 3:34 pm:

    this is a bit oversimplitic, but if a business has the money to cover the tax owed, then we ened to step up collection. Collection includes negotaition over whetehr they pay full or partial interest and penalties.

    If they can not afford to pay any of it, then amnesty probably does not help.

    To me, amnesty does not seem to generate new money for the state; in fact it technically reduces donw what the State can generate by giving back money it can collect. If the reall desire is to provide incetive to get companies who owe money to pay now instead of later, send down the direction to offer reductions on a case by case basis as incentive to settle today.

    once again we appear to be giving away future money to gain a infusion of cash today. We are shorting a future year revenue collection of a larger sum to collect now. In the normal cycle of operations we bring in revenue annualy as collection cases are completed/settled. So we are not just out the future penalties etc, but we are diverting what would be cash coming into the state in the normal collection process in the future to this fiscal year, creating a hole down the road.

    toking tomorrows dollars to put into todays budget is the genesis of our pension problems and a slate of fiscal woes we currently have.


  11. - Pat Robertson - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 3:47 pm:

    ==PR, the last amnesty, done a relatively few years after the previous amnesty, netted over $500 million. ==

    The last amnesty was in 2004, a lot of the proceeds were eventually refunded and most of the remainder were paid by people who had already been caught by Revenue, and would have been collected with penalty and interest if not for the amnesty. The prior amnesty was in 1984.


  12. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 4:40 pm:

    Quinn’s going all in on the tax increase. He doesn’t want anything to take away the sting right now.

    If Quinn wins, you can be sure there will be more revenues. If Brady wins, you can be sure he’s going to have to re-cast his current position.


  13. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 10:10 pm:

    Tax amnesty doesn’t create new revenues for the state. For the main part an amnesty accelerates taxes that would be collected in the future anyway, saving certain collection costs, and losing penalty and interest income.

    It’s really about wanting to continue to pay for ongoing operating expenses with one-time revenues, which as we all know is a big part of the problem we’re currently in. Doing that allows us to continue to pretend we don’t need to either/both cut spending or raise revenues.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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