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Civic Committee: Get moving on a budget now

Thursday, May 18, 2017

* This group is the one that Ty Fahner used to run. Greg Hinz takes a look at its new report

Warning of a looming “catastrophe,” a key Chicago business group today effectively sided against Gov. Bruce Rauner in the state’s bitter budget war.

In an extensive report, the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club, which represents the region’s largest employers, threw its backing behind efforts to pass a budget that includes considerably more new revenues than spending cuts, and which downplays Rauner’s demand for “structural changes” such as a property tax freeze and workers’ compensation reforms in exchange for any tax hike. […]

Committee Chair Rick Waddell, CEO of Northern Trust, conceded in an interview that, while the framework laid out in the report urges changes in the workers’ comp system, it is silent on a proposed property tax freeze and links neither issue to passage of a budget.

“At this point in time, the necessity and imperative of getting the budget done” is paramount, he said. “We’re in a crisis situation.”

If the Legislature and governor again agree only a patchwork stopgap budget that lacks needed revenues, the state’s financial status and ability to retain and attract employers and talent will take a hit, he added.

“It would be catastrophic if we couldn’t market our debt, which could happen” if bond-rating agencies lower their view of Illinois securities to junk levels, as they have threatened to do.

Click here for the full report. They’re proposing $8 billion in new revenues and $2 billion in spending cuts, which is considerably more liberal than the budget which was mostly agreed to in the Senate.

* From Mayor Rahm Emanuel…

“I applaud the Civic Committee for presenting an honest report about the state of Illinois finances, the challenges we all face, and the avenues to invest in our future and drive economic growth for families in every corner of the state. While there are many opinions about the best path forward for the state, the Civic Committee’s thoughtful report underscores the importance of fiscal stability for economic growth, the truth that both revenue and reform are needed, and the fact that progress is possible.”

…Adding… Tribune

Missing from the wide-ranging set of recommendations was any mention of property taxes, which are a key driver of costs for Illinois homeowners and businesses. A property tax freeze has been one of Rauner’s top requirements in return for signing off on tax increases.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

28 Comments »
  1. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 1:25 pm:

    Between alienating the business community with the Exelon deal and driving the state into the ground, Rauner better watch his backside. $70 million won’t buy you love.


  2. - The Captain - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 1:25 pm:

    “something something Mike Madigan”
    - Rauner/ILGOP spokesperson response


  3. - Annonin' - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 1:26 pm:

    anyone else notice the Northern Trust honcho just got named to DopeyDuct’s non productive P3 board of $uper$tars. We are sure this is all on the square …right.


  4. - Big Joe - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 1:27 pm:

    About time for a report like to come out from that group. I am not very sure that our governor will listen to anybody that disagrees with him. And as long as billionaires like Griff keep pumping dollars into his fund, why should he change? He is succeeding in his goal of destroying the lives of the citizens of the state for his own agenda of crisis.


  5. - Saluki - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 1:29 pm:

    Only trouble with this report is that is should be dated 5-18-16


  6. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 1:30 pm:

    Meh, how many divisions does the Pope have?

    Those guys clout used to be bankrolling campaigns. As long as the Rauner/Griff romance is in bloom, their service are no longer needed.


  7. - Truthteller - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 1:31 pm:

    Rauner’s right. The world is wrong. It’s not the one-percenters, it’s two guys, Griffin and Rauner against everyone else


  8. - A Jack - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 1:36 pm:

    The importance of this is that when a Rauner says employers want something like term limits, those running against him can ask which ones?

    Obviously the largest employers care more about a budget than term limits or other Rauner wants.


  9. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 1:38 pm:

    A Jack, excellent point.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 1:43 pm:

    This here… is the sharpest part of the stick, pointing where it belongs in the process of… process…

    ===threw its backing behind efforts to pass a budget that includes considerably more new revenues than spending cuts===

    Revenue is required. It’s not optional, and if anything, the report says significantly more revenue should be introduced then is on the table now.

    “Why?”

    Math is math is math… is math.

    Here is the Raunerite phony being called out as such…

    ===…and which downplays Rauner’s demand for “structural changes” such as a property tax freeze and workers’ compensation reforms in exchange for any tax hike.===

    “… in exchange for… ”

    A want IS just that, a want. You have a well-respected group, business folk, looking at what is honesty happening and saying…

    “Those Raunerite wants are not making the significant changes and are not to be coupled in a hostage situation to do the work that needs to be done”

    It’s a clear indictment on the hostage strategy that 1) Revenue is required, not a give in a discussion for a budget, and more importantly 2) looks T the hostage taking for the destruction of labor, through a tax freeze and WC not as important elements that need to hold hostage a required element, revenue.

    It’s a business rebuke for the hostage taking designed to help… business.

    “Thanks, but we in business would like to see real governing.”


  11. - The Dude Abides - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 1:44 pm:

    Rauner will not go for any tax increase as high as 5% or above because it has to be below what it was under Pat Quinn for him to save face. Letting the 5% tax rate expire is probably still the biggest mistake made. What the Legislature is currently doing is what they’ve been doing for years and what’s gotten us in this predicament. Far too often they tell their constituents what they want to hear instead of delivering the honest tough medicine. 5.25% rate would be closer to getting us back on the right path than 4.95%. We need statesmanship at the top but instead we have a Governor in perpetual campaign mode who refuses to lead while the finances of the state worsen by the day.


  12. - Lance Mannion - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 1:50 pm:

    Yeah, that’s some recommendation coming from Madigan, Emmanuel and other Democratic supporters there.

    Real persuasive.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 1:57 pm:

    ===Yeah, that’s some recommendation coming from Madigan, Emmanuel and other Democratic supporters there.===

    No Republicans? Hmm…


  14. - Joe M - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 1:58 pm:

    Rauner did’t only say job creators like term limits - he said, “job creators get EXCITED about term limits”


  15. - Cubs in '16 - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 1:58 pm:

    What say you Todd Maisch?


  16. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 1:59 pm:

    So today Rauner announces Waddell, CEO of Northern Trust, as a new board member at Intersect Illinois. And Waddell is also committee chair of Civic Committee who today stressed how important a budget is over reforms basically. Oops.


  17. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 2:02 pm:

    Well done propaganda from the Liquor and Gaming Industries. The top gaming tax rate does not kick in until $200 million and if we had the same liquor tax as Washington State we have $400 million in revenue. No discussion of raising the Standard Income Tax Exemption.


  18. - SAP - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 2:23 pm:

    Rauner’s and Griffin’s island just got a lot less crowded.


  19. - 47th Ward - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 2:25 pm:

    Mike Madigan and the business leaders he controls. Lol.

    $8 in new revenue vs. $2 in cuts? I think the House will prefer that to the Senate plan. The geniuses in the SGOP caucus that wanted to stall and delay just got bitten in the shorts by this report.

    They could have had a much better deal in March than what the Civic Committee is proposing today. The Civic Committee of the Commercial Club! Team Rauner completely overplayed their weak hand and now the joke is over. The bluff has been called. This report changes everything in Springfield.


  20. - Cubs in '16 - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 2:43 pm:

    “Missing from the wide-ranging set of recommendations was any mention of property taxes, which are a key driver of costs for Illinois homeowners and businesses.”

    So Tronc knows more about what’s important to businesses than businesses. Got it.


  21. - JS Mill - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 2:49 pm:

    That says a lot coming from this group. If memory serves they gave Quinn a pretty good thrashing.


  22. - don tjhe legend - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 3:14 pm:

    Won’t faze Rauner in the least. He is too busy as the lobbyist for us forgotten taxpayers.


  23. - Stand Tall - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 3:27 pm:

    I guess the businesses that disagree with this report have either closed up or have already left the State.


  24. - walker - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 3:28 pm:

    Interesting that this big business group, which uses real numbers and arithmetic, reports that the proposed bargain on the table is not quite as ‘liberal” as needed.

    Shows how far the Senate Dems have moved for a compromise.


  25. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 4:58 pm:

    What is Washington State’s income tax rate? Oh yeah, they have no income tax.


  26. - Chicago 20 - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 5:21 pm:

    Big business just said Rauner’s “Turn Around Agenda” is a moot point.
    It’s time to shut up and find a way to pay the State’s bills Captain Carhatt.


  27. - Liberty - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 10:19 pm:

    Game changer…stay tuned


  28. - Skirmisher - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 11:02 am:

    It was pointed out to me recently that Minnesota has a progressive income tax ranging from a bit over 5 percent to a bit under 10 percent, and a corporate rate of nearly 10 percent. That state is in excellent financial shape with a booming economy and growth. Business, frankly, cares much less about taxes than it does long-term stability, excellent schools and good infrastructure. Our political class just can’t get it.


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