Bring it on Wisconsin, Cullerton tells Gov. Walker
SPRINGFIELD, IL - Illinois Senate President John Cullerton extended a warm “thank you” to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for highlighting Illinois’ low tax rates.
“Between our investments in infrastructure, our recent moves to stabilize our budget and now Governor Walker leading the marketing effort, we hope to see a lot of interest in Illinois from businesses,” said Cullerton. “I’d like to thank Wisconsin’s governor for helping spread the word.”
Even now, after Illinois raised rates to balance its budget, state taxes remain lower than that of its northern neighbor.
In Wisconsin, citizens are subjected to five tax brackets with a maximum rate of 7.75 percent. Essentially, anyone making more than $10,000 a year pays more state income taxes in Wisconsin than Illinois.
Compare that to Illinois where the flat personal income tax will increase for four years to 5 percent from the current 3 percent. It will then drop to 3.75 percent after 2015 and 3.25 percent after 2025.
Wisconsin’s corporations also face a 7.9 percent income tax, almost a full percentage point higher than in Illinois.
In Illinois, the corporate income tax rate increases to 7 percent from 4.8 percent. It will drop to 5.25 percent after 2015 and go back to 4.8 percent after 2025.
Not only does Wisconsin have higher taxes, but a state budget agency recently informed lawmakers there that they face a nearly $2.5 billion deficit. So, the bottom line is Wisconsin may have to raise taxes in the coming years, while Illinois’ tax rates are scheduled to drop in just a few years.
Apparently unaware of the numbers, Wisconsin’s governor has been telling the media that he’s thinking of revising a 1980s tourism campaign entitled “Escape to Wisconsin” in an effort to lure Illinois businesses.
The reality is that, thanks to Gov. Walker’s actions, the slogan has lately become “Escape from Wisconsin.”
Train-maker Talgo Inc. is considering relocating from Wisconsin to Illinois because Governor Walker rejected millions of federal dollars for a high-speed rail project. The 4,000 jobs and federal dollars might now instead come to Illinois.
In November, after Walker pulled the plug on the project, jobs and money, a billboard went up along I-94 sarcastically thanking him.
“Dear Scott Walker, thanks for the money & jobs! Love, Illinois,” the billboard read. It was paid for by the Wisconsin Democratic Party.
Illinois has a strong shot at being Talgo’s new home because Illinois is investing in high-speed rail as part of a nearly $31 billion program to maintain and modernize the state’s roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure. The program was approved with bipartisan support in 2009.
The construction itself has begun putting thousands to work. The overall program is designed to maintain and modernize the state’s essential infrastructure for citizens and businesses alike, keeping Illinois as a great state in which to live and do business.
While Illinois lawmakers acted to finally resolve Illinois’ budgetary problems, it appears Wisconsin and Gov. Walker have some tough times ahead.
“Don’t get me wrong. Wisconsin is a great state,” said Cullerton. “They’ve got great cheese and lots of people vacation there.”
In exchange for the free marketing from Gov. Walker, President Cullerton said he’s available for consultation to help prevent economic collapse in Wisconsin.
I have long been in favor of declaring war on a neighboring state (I don’t really care which one), so I can’t really complain. But this fighting between states is the worst I’ve ever seen it. And I don’t think it’s going to calm down any time soon.
Also, Cullerton failed to mention Illinois’ 2.5 percent personal property replacement tax. It’s not technically a corporate income tax, but it is a tax on income.
And another thing: The last time I remember somebody in power saying “Bring it on,” things didn’t turn out too well.