Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Quinn now wants to use tax hike for property tax cuts, and furlough program basically canceled
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Quinn now wants to use tax hike for property tax cuts, and furlough program basically canceled

Thursday, Aug 26, 2010 - Posted by Rich Miller

* 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.

* Related…

* McQueary: Where Scott Lee Cohen is getting it right

* New jobs from ‘jobs bill’? We’ll believe it when we see it

* Late payments from state threaten aid to immigrants

* Performance-based funding for public colleges gets a look

* Senator skeptical of $2.5 million deal for Metra consultants

* Dan Seals and Robert Dold disclose finances in 10th District House race

* 10th Dist. candidates back stem cell research, oppose injunction

* Foster, Hultgren try to clear up positions on Social Security

* Candidates to address special needs forum


  1. - Niles Township - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 12:46 pm:

    In what parallel dimension does he reside?

    Meaning “who is this guy?”

  2. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 12:47 pm:

    lol. Exactly. I like that tagline.

  3. - Niles Township - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 12:48 pm:

    I like it too. I think it could be very catchy and effective if they use it wisely.

  4. - Vote Quimby! - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 12:50 pm:

    == If they have to cut as much as they gain from the state, schools would be left with no increase in available money.==
    No additional money, and all the complications that can arise from having revenue “flow” from the state. Nice waffle, Quinn.

  5. - Vole - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 12:53 pm:

    More shell games from both candidates. Are these guys running on the Bernie Madoff ticket? We are dealing with a seriously bankrupt Ponzi scheme and these two guys seem determined to keep pulling the wool over our eyes.

  6. - Plutocrat03 - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 12:56 pm:

    Seals made 18K last year and he wants to be able to vote on millions as a congressman?!!!!!

    This guy is wetter behind the years than I ever thought. Looks like he could not read a balance sheet without a scale.

  7. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 1:02 pm:

    ===Quinn, speaking to agriculture leaders, said his proposal for an income tax increase would lead to lower local property taxes.===

    This is exactly Quinn’s message discipline problem. All he knows is that he’s speaking to farmers. What do farmers care about? Property taxes. So Quinn tosses out what this group wants to hear. How many times did he mention ethanol?

    So he announces a half-baked scheme to justify raising income taxes for schools to please an audience. He’ll find another half-baked idea to justify raising income taxes to please the next group and so on. Except most of his half-baked ideas are in conflict with each other.

    He could have stopped at the idea that, without an income tax increase, property taxes are likely to increase. That would have the advantage of being grounded in reality.

    But no, the truth isn’t good enough for Quinn.

  8. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 1:03 pm:

    I laugh at Dorothy Brown.

  9. - Fan of Cap Fax - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 1:06 pm:

    The Senator Garrett/Metra consultant story is another example of why Quinn should have had her as a running mate. These are the things we want out of our candidates/leaders. She is a leader and a voice for the people. If she were at the TOP of the ticket there wouldn’t be a race. IL might have a chance, too.

    The last paragraph of that story is unbelievable! The man does wrong and he’s still making over $100k. ONly in IL . Metra doesn’t deserve the IL taxpayers money. Put Garrett in as CEO at Metra. We might get some honest service for the buck.

  10. - Sacks Romana - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 1:06 pm:

    It sounds like Quinn is trying to run on the same budget plan as Whitney (which was lifted from CTBA, which Voices 4 Illinois Children backed, which you’d think Stermer would have explained to him before he left), but his 1% tax increase won’t get us there.

    The way to make this work is to structure the proprety tax releif as an abatement. If you raise 8 billion from the income tax increase (and expansion of sales tax on services already taxed in adjacent states), I think about 2.5 billion goes to offsetting the local property taxes. You don’t lower the local property taxes which are funding the schools, but the state essentially picks up a share of them. The plan also provides another 2 or 3 billion directly for K-12 which would mostly be used to bring all schools up to the foundation level of funding.

    Basically, everyone gets property tax relief, poorer school districts get more money directly, and the rich school districts would lose nothing, but could choose to pump even more money into their schools because of the savings they’re realizing from the property tax abatement.

    Granted, the original CTBA plan I’m familiar with covers less of the defecit gap every year the GA and Gov fail to pass a real budget. And granted, my explanation above isn’t a digestable soundbyte (there’s even more to it, like an expansion of the state EITC to offset the income tax increases for low-income familys). But Quinn’s explanation makes no sense if it’s a 1-to-1 switch of property taxes for income. The Whitney/CTBA “swap” isn’t really a swap. It’s a tax increase, but one that shifts the burden of taxation away from struggling families while funding education and reducing reliance on property taxes.

  11. - KeepSmiling - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 1:07 pm:

    Looks like State workers are simply being encouraged to use their paid vacation and personal days, which will result in fewer banked days. I don’t understand how Quinn’s furlough plan saves the State money with this change. Any revised estimate of the savings?

  12. - Commonsense in Illinois - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 1:09 pm:

    Can I move to South Dakota yet? Neither one of these guys have a clue and are simply trotting out tired proposals from eons past. CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE HAVE AN ORIGINAL THOUGHT? PLEASE

  13. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 1:12 pm:

    the republican governor, christie in new jersey shelved the property tax cut idea.

  14. - Vole - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 1:16 pm:

    The fixes are not original thoughts but both candidates have too much baggage to go to them. We are not dealing with common sense guys here. Horse sense is more like it.

  15. - Sacks Romana - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 1:16 pm:

    And I don’t mean to be exclusively down on Quinn. Brady’s “I’m not going to come up with a plan for the budget until after I’m elected” is straight up intellectual dishonesty and should disqualify him from any voter’s consideration, especially any that think of themselves as fiscal conservatives. Quinn’s message and plan is muddled, but at least he’s trying.

    Whitney’s budget plan is the only one that looks like an adult put it together. And lastly, I don’t work on the Whitney campaign, and I’m not up for debating if Whitney’s chances of winning. I’m just saying his budget plan compared to Quinn and Brady’s makes them look like children.

  16. - JustaJoe - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 1:19 pm:

    The furlough programs are always a scam on the gullible electorate. The pols get to pretend they are doing something and the hurt falls on those who deserve it least…non-political, non-union, pay-frozen, mid-level supervisors, and then on the public as services suffer. The current change helps those staffers, but as the post says…it doesn’t save a dime. What leadership!

  17. - 3 beers to Springfield - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 1:36 pm:

    Farmers care about property taxes? Does anyone know how much less in property taxes farmers pay since the formula on ag land was adjusted years ago? The State needs to quit messing with property taxes. The State legislature keeps increasing $ exemptions for owner-occupied and over 65 regardless of inocme. The max annual income for the senior freeze is now 1.5 times the average family income in some counties. And who pays the difference? Industrial, commercial, residential landlords and people under 65 including young people with kids to support. The State’s attempt to fix an isolated problem (read Cook County) is killing school districts and local governments all over the state.

  18. - anon - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 1:47 pm:

    Well, there is the fact that the “new” furlough program is an emergency rulemaking, which must expire in 150 days. Come early next year, the old furlough program is back in force as if nothing had happened. So it could save some money for employees who don’t take all 24 furlough/vacation days this year. Whether this is incompetence or evil, who knows? The record of this administration is replete with examples of both when it comes to personnel matters.

  19. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 1:52 pm:

    Quinn still isn’t telling us what the income tax increases will be used for under a Quinn administration. First it was going to pay the bills, then to “education” and now to property tax relief (which screws education funding).

    And now State Employees can use their vacation days and sick days as furlough days? Isn’t this like the third time he has changed this program since instituting the 24 days off (1 month without pay) rule? My wife received her solicitation to join AFCSME.

    I think voters are looking for a steady hand at the wheel, not magical promises, and are not reacting ti fear mongering. Between Brady and Quinn, who comes across as having a steady hand to steer the wheel?

  20. - dupage dan - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 1:57 pm:

    Hey, maybe Quinn could join that dancing reality show and introduce a new dance called the “Furlough Farce Twist”.

    You put your furlough in, you take your days off out,
    you put your furlough in and you shake it all about,
    you do the flippy floppy and you change your mind again,
    that’s what it’s all about.

    You put your days off in, you take your furlough out,
    You put your days off in, and you shake them all about,
    You do the flippy floppy and you hope that no one sees it,
    that’s what it’s all about.

    And the magic fork says, “DONE”.

  21. - Ghost of John Brown - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 2:00 pm:

    “Gov. Pat Quinn has had almost as many positions on tax hikes over the past 18 months as the Ricketts have lost games.”

    I’m no fan of the Guv, but don’t you think comparing him to the Cubs is hitting below the belt?

    Heavy Snark

  22. - Xgman - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 2:11 pm:

    Dan Seals has earned much more money on his own than has Bob Dold - who gets all his income (and his home) from Mommy and Daddy. Who has done more for the community?

  23. - Cosmic Charlie - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 2:12 pm:

    I’m sorry to those who love him but Quinn is a complete disaster. The guy has no center and utterly in over his head.

  24. - Ghost - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 2:16 pm:

    Vote for me - I shall eliminate all fees and taxses, give every citizen a free kitty, and use magic beans to keep everything a float.

  25. - Phlegm - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 2:36 pm:

    I cannot believe what I am about to type, but I am thinking VERY seriously about voting for Scott Lee Cohen. He seems to understand 2 important points: 1)that job creation is the #1 issue in the election and 2) that job creation ain’t just about public works projects, it requires a lot of hard work.

    Also in Cohen’s favor: I disagree with everything Brady stands for and Quinn is a blithering idiot.

  26. - Madame Defarge - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 2:37 pm:

    Don’t get too concerned over Quinn’s position on property taxes—they will most certainly be different tomorrow.

  27. - "Old Timer Dem" - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 2:40 pm:

    I think Cohen is going to easily get 20-25% of the vote. There is not much to chose from for Gov.

  28. - Ghost - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 2:41 pm:

    Phlegm, you mean job creation like paying junkies and the homless to forge signature petitions?

  29. - dave - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 3:09 pm:

    I think Cohen is going to easily get 20-25% of the vote.


  30. - dave - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 3:09 pm:

    He seems to understand 2 important points

    Please tell what Cohen will do to create jobs.

  31. - GA Watcher - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 3:44 pm:

    I think we should all vote for Rich Whitney. The Dems and the GOP might start working together then.

  32. - zatoichi - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 3:55 pm:

    Class today’s assignment: I have 20 unpaid furlough days and 20 days of paid vacation/personal days. How much money will I save if I use the vacation days to cover the furlough days? Who cares, next week there will be a new formula. Do I have to work over the holidays?

  33. - wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 4:10 pm:

    I love Brady economics. Just wishing makes it so.

    What’s wrong, DuPage Dan? Is your government-bad outlook starting to bite at your indoor, a/c, no-heavy-lifting government-good job? What were the odds?

    You’re in the home stretch to retirement, dude. Don’t worry, the rest of us will pick up the tab after you leave.

  34. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 4:11 pm:

    Dold has been running the family business for a number of years now. A family business that is sound and profitable and a fixture on the North Shore.

    Seals by comparison has been running a campaign for the past 6 years.

  35. - Aldyth - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 4:28 pm:

    Is there something in the water being plumbed into the capitol building?

  36. - Jack - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 6:52 pm:

    Actually this change in furlough rules could cost the state even more money than canceling the furlough program. The timekeeping system is not set up to acccount for “Furlough Vacation.” This will cost the state in many manhours, possibly overtime to make the system work with these new rules.

  37. - Skirmisher - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 8:02 pm:

    I’m looking for property in Wisconsin. You pay taxes up there but at least you get something for your money. There is no future for Illinois.

  38. - Slave_Labor - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 9:12 pm:

    “Paid Furlough Day”? Ain’t happening except in the minds of the Governors office. Using up Vacation and Personal Days will still cost the employees the loss of those days. The Governors office is desperately trying to calm “the storm” of negative publicity over the escalating abuse and neglect of non-union State employees and hoping that the claim that it won’t cost the impacted employees a dime will somehow be believed and go over well with the public. Non-union State employees are little more than “slave labor” to be abused and neglected at the whim of the Governor.

  39. - Old Timer Dem - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 10:19 pm:

    Dave, it has nothing to do with issues or how he is going to create jobs. I think he will get a great amount of protest votes against the two main candidates who are both boobs too.

  40. - P. Symth - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 10:33 pm:

    This Quinn statement bothers me a lot. It’s not because he is flipping and pandering to his audience; it’s the fact that he stated “if the schools get State money then they should lower their property taxes”. This shows he doesn’t know anything about the State money going to the schools. The schools in the highest taxing districts do not qualify for state money; the schools in the lower income areas do. Thus, Quinn is saying “If you are a school district in a poor community, we want you to take less money and try to make it work, while the rich guys over there have no problems and don’t have to lower their taxes”. Although I haven’t been impressed with Quinn — this might just make me vote Green Party again.

  41. - Fan of the Game - Friday, Aug 27, 10 @ 8:48 am:

    Quinn seems to be looking for any scenario in which people would support an income tax increase.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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