* From Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee)…
“I want to thank the people of the 66th District for again entrusting me to represent you in Springfield,” said Skillicorn. “Illinois government is broken, but when we the people work together we can affect change. Our recent success to defeat a massive motor fuel tax hike in the waning moments of the 100th General Assembly that appeared to be a sure thing just a month again is proof of that.”
A sure thing? I told subscribers this on November 15th: “Tentative plans are afoot to move forward with some sort of tax increase to fund a capital bill by the end of the lame duck session on January 9th.” And then on November 27th I told subscribers that from everything I was hearing the plans to do a capital bill in lame duck had been scrapped.
The “horizontal” (roads, bridges, transit) infrastructure project list would’ve likely been ready to go by this week, but the “vertical” (building construction and repair) list would not have been. That lack of a list, I was told in late November, was a big reason for the delay. They couldn’t do the tax hikes for both at once because it’s tough to pass a tax increase for vertical projects when nobody knows what the projects are. They also didn’t want to do one tax hike for horizontal and then another just weeks later for vertical. Too many headlines.
Also, House GOP Leader Jim Durkin said this earlier in the week…
“I don’t see anything else coming,” Durkin said. “I’m seeing some posters here about a gas tax. There’s nothing about an infrastructure bill or anything regarding a gas tax or anything that’s going to be considered this week.”
Make no mistake, however: A capital bill is coming, along with revenue streams to pay for it.
*** UPDATE *** It’s not just Skillicorn. Check out this over-heated Taxpayers United press release…
Illinois taxpayers defeated the plan of downstate and Cook County Democrats to give the state of Illinois the highest gasoline tax in the country during the Illinois 100th General Assembly lame duck session.
The Democrat mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emmanuel, showing how out-of-touch he was with taxpayers, had called for a 30 cent-per-gallon increase on the state gasoline tax. In response, taxpayers protested inside the Illinois Capitol Building against this two billion dollar tax hike. The January 7 protest featured many prominent anti-gasoline-tax speakers, including St. Rep. Allen Skillicorn, St. Rep. Jeanne Ives, and Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of America.
When the protesters went to confront their state representatives over this proposed gasoline tax increase, the tax raisers gaveled out and fled to caucus. They refused to leave their rooms until protesters and their signs were thrown out!
“It must have been two minutes,” commented Val, a concerned taxpayer who was waiting in line to speak to his state representative about the gas tax. “They were in session for two minutes and ran. It’s like they didn’t want to talk to us.”
Illinois lawmakers were so shaken by the outpouring of opposition they did not amend any bills to include a tax increase.
“I bet those tax-raising cowards have never seen so many taxpayers gathered together in one place before,” said Tobin. “It’s too bad we taxpayers need to work for a living. Otherwise we could protest and stop every tax increase in its tracks.”
When asked about the possibility of the new general assembly passing a gas tax increase, Tobin responded, “I think they will try to pass it again. But now Springfield Democrats and the newly elected Governor Pritzker will have to take responsibility for any tax increase. They own it now. They wanted to pass it in the 100th so they could blame Gov. Rauner, and not look like hypocrites when they throw poor and middle class taxpayers under the bus.”
Some background on Mr. Tobin is here.