* Gov. Pat Quinn has had almost as many positions on tax hikes over the past 18 months as the Ricketts have lost games.
And now we have another one…
Quinn, speaking to agriculture leaders, said his proposal for an income tax increase would lead to lower local property taxes. Pressed afterward on how that would happen, Quinn said he would seek legislation requiring schools to reduce property tax bills before they could get additional state support.
“I think it should be mandatory,” the Chicago Democrat said. “I think if the state helps local schools with more money … it also means cutting local property taxes.” […]
Quinn said, his tax plan would generate $3 billion for schools and reduce property taxes. Eventually Quinn acknowledged he wants to force schools to cut local taxes. If they have to cut as much as they gain from the state, schools would be left with no increase in available money.
Cutting property taxes is a good issue to run on. The trouble is making people believe he’ll actually do it. And if schools are getting the same amount of money, that means layoffs and cutbacks will continue. The unions won’t like it. The voters might, if they believe it.
* Bill Brady also has a property tax reduction idea…
Brady said he’d want to set up a fund to give local homeowners property tax relief. Under Brady’s plan, state money would be put into a fund, sent to local officials, and used to lower property tax rates.
“That fund would build on itself each and every year,” Brady said.
The problem with that, of course, is there is no money. He wants to cut taxes on businesses, get rid of the gasoline sales tax, eliminate the inheritance tax and send money to local governments to lower property taxes? In what parallel dimension does he reside?
* Speaking of Quinn changing his mind…
Gov. Pat Quinn’s office has changed the rules about how non-union state workers can take furlough days.
Quinn has ordered about 2,700 non-union state workers to take 24 unpaid days off this budget year because of Illinois’ budget crisis.
Under the new rules, those workers can to use vacation and personal days to fulfill their furlough requirement. The administration on Wednesday said that means workers won’t lose pay if they schedule furlough days to coincide with vacation and personal days off.
And that means…
Last Friday, Quinn’s office issued a memo that he was imposing emergency rules that would let those workers take their vacation and personal time, which are paid days off, as furlough days. That means Quinn could still claim that he instituted a furlough program, even though it might not save a dime now.
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