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If you can’t beat it, bend it

Monday, Mar 11, 2019

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

Democrats often propose ideas that take forever to explain and are often difficult for the masses to understand. That wasn’t the case last week.

“Under my fair tax plan,” Gov. JB Pritzker tweeted, “97 percent of taxpayers get tax relief and the wealthy will pay their fair share.”

It’s gonna be really tough to top a succinct message like that, particularly when its chief supporter is worth $3.2 billion and just gleefully spent $170 million on his campaign and is willing to spend big on this.

The governor’s new graduated income tax plan is obviously designed to appeal to the most people possible. And 97 percent is almost everybody.

The dirty truth is that human beings tend to prefer taxes which don’t apply to them. It’s really no surprise that 72 percent of Illinoisans backed a progressive income tax in the most recent Paul Simon Public Policy Institute poll taken last year.

So, the tiny 2.7 percent of income tax filers who will pay more taxes under Pritzker’s plan and who, unlike in the past, have little hope of outspending the governor if it goes to the voters for approval will have their work cut out for them.

One of the early responses from opponents was to attempt to scare people into believing rich people will pack up and leave, even though one of our biggest exit problems is the tens of thousands of kids who leave for out-of-state colleges every year and never come back.

Other pro-business types claimed part of Pritzker’s proposal was a “millionaire’s tax,” which actually polls even better than a graduated tax. They can’t beat Pritzker that way.

Democratic state legislators were mostly silent. That’s often the case with big proposals. Legislators are, for the most part, naturally cautious creatures who will want to be assured they can do this without harming their districts and, in turn, themselves.

As with the recent minimum wage hike, the governor can stress to legislators that his tax plan is a “core Democratic Party value,” and that he will have their backs if they’re attacked. This won’t be an easy rollcall, but things like infrastructure projects will help smooth things over.

The House Republicans have been a hard “heck no” for weeks on this topic. But the Senate Republicans left the door open to negotiations.

“Without guaranteed protections for middle class families, we are opposed to the governor’s $3.4 billion tax increase,” the caucus statement read. They wouldn’t say what those “guaranteed protections” might be, but I was told that the caucus is open to “exploring” the topic.

Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady has always been a guy who wants to be at the table. And he likely knows he can’t stop that constitutional amendment in his chamber (the real fight will probably be in the House).

And, remember, 97 percent of taxpayers will get some relief. It’s not much, but sneer at a $271 annual tax cut for a family of four earning $61,000 at your own peril. That’s a decent credit card payment or two, and families in that bracket aren’t exactly flush with cash. Anyone who is a hard “no” on this can be portrayed as opposing tax relief for almost everybody on behalf of the rich.

So, why not try to make his caucus look reasonable and bend the proposal his direction?

What about altering the rates, or formally tying the top tax rate to the lowest in the same way the corporate rate is currently tied to the personal rate to prevent lawmakers from soaking big business without also raising taxes on individuals? Or, how about allowing married couples who file joint federal returns to file separate Illinois returns to avoid triggering higher brackets? Or what about dumping the proposed one point increase in the corporate rate, which would only bring in about $317 million anyway?

From what I’m told, Gov. Pritzker is not only eager to talk with the Republicans, he doesn’t expect them to put a single vote on the amendment. Adding some Republican ideas would undoubtedly make his case stronger with moderate Democratic legislators and with voters. Does that mean Republicans would be used as cover? Of course, but it also means that the Republicans will have made some important changes. It’s called governing.

Pritzker’s plan is so easy to like that, unless they’re absolutely sure they can kill this thing, the Republicans need to get to the bargaining table before it’s too late.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

70 Comments »
  1. - Anon - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 8:15 am:

    Some of those down state GOP state reps and state senators should take a good long look at the economic demographics for their districts and see how many households in their district would actually be impacted by a higher tax rate before they make railing against this tax a good idea.

    That data might also want to be compared to the state facilities and universities in their districts, the number of direct and indirect public employees in their state districts, and maybe that data from IDOT and other sources about our infrastructure needs before they decide to be categorically against this tax.

    I can’t imagine representing a place like Pope or even Union county and being categorically against a progressive income tax.


  2. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 8:23 am:

    –(the real fight will probably be in the House).–

    Seventy-one votes is no slam dunk.


  3. - PublicServant - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 8:24 am:

    I’m against any tying of the rates. That removes the flexibility that is at the very heart of a graduated income tax. It’s time the rich quit hiding behind regular folks to avoid paying a fair share on their yearly income in support of state programs.


  4. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 8:25 am:

    “he doesn’t expect them to put a single vote on the amendment”

    For the love of God [exclamation point]. Jesus [exclamation point]. This is a tax cut, GOP, the very thing you scream the most about. How do you not put a single vote on a tax cut?

    Sigh. But, what matters is that it happens not how it happens. If the only viable path is the GOP helping the CA pass with moderate Democrats, fine, but still…not a single GOP vote for a tax cut. There has to be some political fallout against the GOP if this doesn’t pass out of the GA, and I hope that’s a consideration in Pritzker’s negotiating strategy.


  5. - PublicServant - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 8:25 am:

    Screams of “Socialism” in 3…2…1


  6. - Anon221 - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 8:38 am:

    The first time I read one of the articles about Pritzker’s plan, I interpreted the property tax relief as an increase from 5% to 20%. However, it looks like it is being “billed” as an increase from 5% tax credit to 6% tax credit, which would be a 20% increase, but not much of an overall effect, especially with SALT. If this administration really wants to provide true property tax relief, something more in the way of an increase in the tax credit for property taxes of 10-20% would be a better range (perhaps with a maximum cap built in). That takes into account more of the overall tax burden most property owners are picking up of what should be the state’s share of education funding at the local level.


  7. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 8:38 am:

    ==Gov. Pritzker is not only eager to talk with the Republicans, he doesn’t expect them to put a single vote on the amendment.==

    He should try to get two, Rep. Hammond and Sen. Tracy, in exchange for bailing out WIU. They may not go for it initially but it’s worth a shot at some horse-trading once it becomes clear the amendments are going to pass anyway


  8. - Fav Human - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 8:39 am:

    Of course, the best way to fight this is:

    1) Today its 97% no change tomorrow?

    2) Remind people of all the broken/ “changed” state promises, I90 free, all lotto to the schools, etc. Then ask “Can we trust them THIS time?”


  9. - 47th Ward - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 8:41 am:

    ===That removes the flexibility that is at the very heart of a graduated income tax===

    Disagree. The heart of a graduated tax is its progressive nature, those who earn more, pay more. It’s not at all about flexibility. In fact, a guarantee against “flexibility,” in the form of linking the rates together, is probably going to be necessary to pass it.


  10. - A Jack - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 8:44 am:

    Downstate ILGOP should jump on the bandwagon and call it the “Chicago Millionaire’s tax.” The Chicago area has a much higher percentage of millionaires than the rest of the state. And since their are some who want to break away from Chicago, instead this is their chance to tax them instead while giving a tax break to the downstate middle-class.

    Okay, there is a bit of snark in that, but still it would play well with that whole break away from Chicago meme.


  11. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 8:47 am:

    ===Remind people of all the broken/ “changed” state promises===

    People don’t need to be reminded about that. lol


  12. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 8:47 am:

    Perhaps Governor Pritzker would get some buy in from skeptics in both parties if he addressed the causes of the budget deficits for the past two decades.

    If legislators thought this proposal was to dig us out of a hole instead of a ramp to more runaway government spending and future tax increases it would have far more credibility.


  13. - Anon - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 8:47 am:

    Shouldn’t we see the language for the CA at the same time as the rates? You don’t get the rates unless you get the CA and you don’t get the CA until people see the language. And, personally, I don’t see any way that the CA gets approved unless there’s some limitations on the flexibility of the structure and rates. No way they get to say “take off the reins and trust us.”


  14. - logic not emotion - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 8:51 am:

    I think Fav Human hits it. The opposition is largely based upon a well earned distrust. I think many of those who will oppose it could support it if they received and actually believed assurances that additional revenues go towards paying existing obligations and etc.


  15. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 8:52 am:

    –How do you not put a single vote on a tax cut?–

    They need to replace that Rauner campaign money.

    ===Remind people of all the broken/ “changed” state promises===

    This proposal is campaign promise kept.


  16. - Responsa - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 8:52 am:

    @- Anon221 - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 8:38 am:

    I hope both Dem and Repub lawmakers carefully consider your statement (including about a max. cap). It would make a good “compromise” to gain support and would appeal to many taxpayers who do understand the state’s financial situation but also know they must factor in the checks they write to both the state treasury and their county in order to asses the total tax burden they can manage.


  17. - Illinois Resident - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 8:58 am:

    It’s comical to me if Republicans are against this. I guess they need to protect their donors. Our budget situation improves dramatically and only the top 3% of earners pay more.


  18. - Red Ranger - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 8:59 am:

    Many Republicans, and likely others too, believe that once graduated income tax is in place, it will be easy to keep “raising taxes on the rich.” And with each tax increase the threshold to be considered “rich” will get lower. Today its $250k, tomorrow is it $200k and so on. Wonder if the Governor in an effort to “negotiate” with the “heck no” GOP puts on the table a 3/5 vote in each chamber needed to increase any state income taxe, both individual and corporate. There is plenty of precedent in other states. I don’t think there is a chance the GOP negotiates, and I dont think lowering the proposed rates or income levels gets the GOP to the table, but the Gov does seem open to trying.


  19. - SSL - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 9:00 am:

    It will take a well organized and well funded campaign to defeat JB’s propoal. Even if the the GOP effectively does come together against it, JB can counter any criticism with “if this doesn’t pass, everyone’s taxes will be increased”.

    I don’t believe the property tax relief will be much, if anything. And I don’t trust for a minute that this solves the state’s fiscal issues. It gives the state a methodology for selectively increasing taxes, and I believe politicians will do it in a way to retain power. Good for them in the short term. Not sure it is good for the state in the long term.


  20. - Honeybear - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 9:03 am:

    Protecting the privileged 3%
    Is the hill Republicans
    are going to die on.

    Not happy for the 97% who won’t pay more.
    But lying that they will affected.

    Not relieved that state government will finally be funded and effective in serving Illinoisans
    But screaming that ALL will be victims.

    Not looking forward to governing together
    But self isolating to preserve a narrative of victim.

    The ILGOP chose to be feckless
    The ILGOP chose to be dysfunctional
    The ILGOP chose perfidy every time.

    They rather complain about any solution
    Than be a part of one.

    Why give them the chance?
    I say they don’t deserve it for supporting
    The destruction of State Agencies
    The destruction of the private social service safety net
    The destruction of higher education
    The destruction of our business environment
    Nope
    As OW rightly says “we have the receipts”

    Is this why Pritzker is retaining high level Raunerites throughout his administration?
    To give at least the appearance of bipartisanship?

    I ask why?

    Those who willingly and eagerly participated in the destruction of so much
    are not contrite.
    They disdain the attempt to solve.
    I say don’t give them a seat.
    They turned it down.
    So remove all Raunerites from your administration.
    Their services are no longer required.
    It was a fools errand to think
    they would be helpful.
    It was a fools errand to think
    they wanted to govern with.

    You leave Raunerites in your administration
    at your peril.
    Wooden shoes are not back in fashion just FYI


  21. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 9:04 am:

    Pritzker campaigned on this, this is the Administration making public policy from campaign rhetoric.

    While 71 is still a heavy lift with 74 Dems in the House, keep in mind Drury, Franks, and Dunkin aren’t around to torpedo it because they feel “like it”, so a fair shake in the Dem caucus is possible to achieve.

    Dear GOP GA members,

    If the mantra is “97% unchanged” and your take is “millionaire tax”…

    … dontcha think looking engaged and maybe getting a slice if something and having the good amount Red when the time comes is far more productive than being “NO” right away and having nothing to point to in a policy give?

    Reaching for extremists’ money to fund a minority party bent on being monolithic, angry, white, rural, and old isn’t going to get the GOP GA any closer to 60 and 30.


  22. - Illinois Resident - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 9:07 am:

    -Not sure it is good for the state in the long term.-

    SSL - So what is your solution then? If not making the very rich in our state pay more taxes (which by the way they just received a large federal tax cut)?


  23. - Rabid - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 9:07 am:

    The turnaround agenda is now the stand around agenda to protect some two bit millionaires


  24. - revvedup - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 9:10 am:

    This is a classic example of a political party crashing and burning. ILGOP is still acting like it’s in charge, and it plainly isn’t. They have no clue and no plan other than “the sky is falling”. Maybe we’d be better off as a State if all the 1%’ers left, since they are no help to anyone but themselves anyway.


  25. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 9:13 am:

    Anyone our there think this sounds too good to be true?


  26. - Jocko - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 9:25 am:

    ==And with each tax increase the threshold to be considered “rich” will get lower.==

    Until the ILGOP decides to grow up (and stop using phrases like “finding waste”, “growing the economy”, and my personal favorite, “pension reform”) this is now it’ll have to be.


  27. - Just another Anon - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 9:25 am:

    I was actually shocked with how reasonable the plan was, and am considering supporting it. That said, as referenced here above, there are two issues with it. First, how do we know that this isn’t just the introductory rate? Anyone who deals with cable companies knows that the deal is originally great, then suddenly becomes unreasonable. Whats to stop this proposal from drastically changing once it gets implemented? Reasonable people will want to see a constitutional limit on the legislatures ability to hike this thing willy nilly. Second, Illinoisans have developed a healthy distrust of our state government, specifically vis a vis taxes. In the past ten years we have seen (1) a “Temporary” income tax hike which turned into a permanent one, (2) heavy pension bond borrowing, (3) outright disregard of budget balancing, and (4) a well earned reputation amongst state and local politicians of corruption and mismanagement. What sort of assurances will the public have that the increased revenues will actually be used to resolve the most pressing public financial issues and not be spent of graft, pet projects, and useless boondoggles in the vein of the Illiana Tollway or the Peotone airport? We have put infrastructure monies into a lockbox, why not place the increased amount funds into a pension lockbox? Better yet, why not put the graduated income tax, pension reform, and term limits all on the ballot at the same time?


  28. - JS Mill - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 9:29 am:

    =Anyone our there think this sounds too good to be true?

    Were you thinking that with the Trump tax cut?


  29. - Illinois Resident - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 9:29 am:

    Just another Anon - What is your plan then? You distrust government so we should do nothing?


  30. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 9:29 am:

    ===Many Republicans, and likely others too, believe that once graduated income tax is in place, it will be easy to keep “raising taxes on the rich.” And with each tax increase the threshold to be considered “rich” will get lower.===

    Worrying about what “could” happen versus what exactly the plan today says and will be voted on, at least by the two chambers, is a losing argument, just not as bad as helping by calling it a “millionaire tax”, but bad all the same.


  31. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 9:38 am:

    JS. Yup.


  32. - Honeybear - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 9:42 am:

    What are you saying that Blue Dog Dem?
    Is it that you have to pay more?
    Is it that you will have to pay
    Your fair share?
    Is that why you are gaslighting by insinuating
    “this sounds too good to be true”?
    Just wondering why you are unwilling
    to pay your fairshare
    to do your part for others
    to support Illinois

    Greed? Privilege? Selfishness?
    Give me a good reason why the
    3% wealthiest Illinoisans,
    Who can afford to pay it,
    shouldn’t pay more?

    What I hear already in response is

    Because the wealthy will leave Illinois.
    Really? They would be that greedy and selfish
    to leave our state rather than pay their fairshare which they can afford?

    Because the revenue raised by a graduated income tax wouldn’t be enough.
    So we don’t try? We do nothing? Like what Rauner did for four years and hide the economic and systemic destruction (Which is why you don’t leave Raunerites in the administration)? We engage in High Perfidy saying we are for something (like tax relief) and then in behavior we do everything against it? Rauner said
    He was for education, the business environment, jobs, lower taxes.
    Yet he was lying.
    He wanted the destruction.
    He caused the destruction.
    He facilitated the destruction
    (through many Raunerites still in Agencies)
    So he could
    offer the solution
    after the failure.
    No no no no no we are not going back to that.
    Why do you the 3% wealthiest
    Refuse to pay a fair share?


  33. - Red Ranger - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 9:47 am:

    OW, so when deciding if one supports the plan, one shouldn’t think about the future implications of this change? One should just look at today, and think, “well, Im fine, I sure hope my Rep or Senator votes for the plan!” Come on!

    There are a lot of new legislators just beginning their time of service in Springfield and if they think that 2020 is the the only time they will be asked to increase taxes “on the rich” they are completely naive.


  34. - Just another Anon - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 9:47 am:

    @Illinois Resident

    Actually my post included both my proposals, so I can only assume that you didn’t actually take the time to read it. I’ll summarize it again for the folks in the back… First, limit the ability of the legislature to adjust the tax brackets in the future. Second, put the net gain from the tax into a pension lockbox.


  35. - Steve - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 9:50 am:

    The Democrats won the last election. They either have the votes for a CA or they don’t. Why do they need Republicans at the table? Why should the Republicans join in to something that probably will lead to higher income taxes on everyone within 5 to 10 years. The history of progressive income taxation at the state level usually means higher taxes. The flat tax has always made it harder to raise income taxes on everyone. Once you take that away, the sky is the limit. Before 1969, when Illinois didn’t have an income tax : there were roads , bridges, colleges, and much more. The toll roads were supposed to temporary. The recent state income tax hikes were supposed to be temporary. Why should we believe Illinois politicians when they make promises?


  36. - Responsa - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 9:52 am:

    My suggestion is that all parties need work toward to keeping the class warfare type rhetoric out of the discussion as much as possible. This fair tax process will be difficult enough to maneuver through without purposely ticking off the very taxpayers who JB needs and hopes will decide to stay put and support it.


  37. - SSL - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 9:53 am:

    Illinois Resident, you and I probably have a different definition on what constitutes “very rich”. I think JB’s proposal was carefully thought out to divide and conquer, which is smart on his part. But it doesn’t solve the states fiscal issues. It barely addresses the budget shortfall. So I view this as step one, which means getting the progressive tax CA approved and implemented. Step 2 is that once it is in place, taxes will need to increase across the board. While this will still fit the “fairer” definition of many, it will result in Illinois having an onerous tax burden above and beyond what it already has.

    The state either can’t or won’t address the fact that it has a very large tax base, paying a high tax burden, but it still isn’t enough. So, do you raise taxes forevermore, or for the next several decades at least, or do you address the fundamental cost issues that eat up all that revenue.

    JB chooses the route of disenfranchisement of the few over the many. I get it. It’s the easy choice. Only time will tell if it’s the correct choice.


  38. - Illinois Resident - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 9:53 am:

    Just another Anon - Fair enough. Correct I commented a bit too quickly without reading your comment through. Said that, voters in our state elected JB by a large margin. So maybe we should trust the governor until proven otherwise.


  39. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 9:54 am:

    I always get nervous when a majority can get free stuff by taking from a minority. Still, the proposed rates seem acceptable

    I think the Republicans should try to put limits on the spread between the highest and lowest rates. When more revenue is needed to fund new programs, everybody pays something

    Republicans need to focus on spending effectiveness and control. Rauner wasted his four years, but new thinking might make programs more effective. For example, DCFS needs reform as well as increased funding. Work to get smart people to test new approaches.


  40. - Illinois Resident - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 9:57 am:

    To put it another way: JB is rich. Whey would he want a progressive income tax in the first place? Maybe he cares about our state and wants to make it better for everyone. He was just elected. Give his policies a chance.


  41. - The Dude Abides - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 9:57 am:

    “The opposition is largely based upon a well earned distrust. I think many of those who will oppose it could support it if they received and actually believed assurances that additional revenues go towards paying existing obligations and etc.”

    No, that’s not why Durkin and his caucus oppose it. They oppose it because their wealthy supporters don’t want it to pass.


  42. - Honeybear - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 9:59 am:

    “probably will lead to higher income taxes on everyone within 5 to 10 years.”
    That’s rich Steve considering that Rauners
    Negligence
    Mismanagement
    Recalcitrance
    directly resulted in the immediate need
    to raise taxes.
    Yes the state was in bad shape before, no argument
    Then Rauner took the budget, social services, agencies, higher ed hostage
    with the ransom demand to execute all labor
    or else
    When the demands weren’t met
    hostages died
    or now are on life support
    thus necessitating
    the massive need for revenue
    to raise taxes
    Rauners gambit
    his hostage situation
    put us here.

    That again is why we shouldn’t let them at the table.
    and
    We should remove ALL Raunerites from the Agencies
    Beware of SPSA’s
    wearing wooden shoes.


  43. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 10:00 am:

    Honey. No. I am for a progressive tax. Just sounds to good to be true.


  44. - RNUG - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 10:17 am:

    == personally, I don’t see any way that the CA gets approved unless there’s some limitations on the flexibility of the structure and rates. ==

    == it will be easy to keep “raising taxes on the rich.” ==

    == a 3/5 vote in each chamber needed to increase any state income taxe, both individual and corporate. ==

    Whether or not the 3/5’s suggestion gets added, I think the CA should contain a restriction the rates can only he changed every 5 or 10 years.


  45. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 10:19 am:

    - Honeybear -

    You fed the troll once…

    (Sigh)

    ===They either have the votes for a CA or they don’t. Why do they need Republicans at the table? Why should the Republicans join in to something that probably will lead to higher income taxes on everyone within 5 to 10 years.===

    “They either have the votes for a CA or they don’t.”

    They have the votes, the question is what will the GOO do about being engaged and getting some concessions, or get steamrolled in a way that “all they do is protect millionaires”. Not a great look.

    “Why do they need Republicans at the table?”

    We’d all like governing to happen, all sides involved. If you’re take is “when you lose, you don’t do anything”, that junior high drivel, and embarrassing. They’re elected to their seats. You’d think they’d want a seat at the table. Not accepting a seat to even listen isn’t helping.

    “Why should the Republicans join in to something that probably will lead to higher income taxes on everyone within 5 to 10 years.”

    They can vote no, without any input.

    When 97% have “no change” in the state income tax, they’ll have to exposing that too. Not great.


  46. - Louis G. Atsaves - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 10:21 am:

    ===Worrying about what “could” happen versus what exactly the plan today says and will be voted on, at least by the two chambers, is a losing argument, just not as bad as helping by calling it a “millionaire tax”, but bad all the same.===

    We just spent four long years watching the Democratic majorities worrying and stonewalling about what “could” happen had they gone along with some Rauner proposals, and suddenly worries and what could happen are no longer part of the political process in Illinois? And that is just recent history.

    Wake up Willy. Politicians in my experience always try to avoid those slippery slopes, real or imagined.


  47. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 10:23 am:

    One point to consider is that incomes at the upper levels tend to be volatile. More of their income is tied to good times in the markets and to the business cycle. (Sports figures are an exception, but not all high earners are athletes. )

    The result is that state revenues also become more volatile. Good planning requires setting aside more money in the good years to cover the bad. If you spend it all in the good years, the bad years are brutal.

    For example, during the real estate boom before the crash Chicago made lots of money off the real estate transfer tax. Come the crash, that money stopped.


  48. - Demoralized - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 10:26 am:

    ==Why do they need Republicans at the table?==

    You prefer that as a plan? Simply not participating? Then why even show up to work? I cannot believe your answer is to simply say it’s not my problem and take your ball and go home.


  49. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 10:30 am:

    ===We just spent four long years watching the Democratic majorities worrying and stonewalling about what “could” happen had they gone along with some Rauner proposals, and suddenly worries and what could happen are no longer part of the political process in Illinois? And that is just recent history.===

    Rauner NEVER had 71 and 36, let alone 60 and 30… LOL

    Keep up.

    ===Wake up… Politicians in my experience always try to avoid those slippery slopes, real or imagined.===

    Nothing to wake up from Counselor.

    When 97% will see no difference, the worrisome trolling to today is… like a lawyer pounding the table when they have no facts or evidence.


  50. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 10:39 am:

    Since only 97% of illinois taxpayers will be affected,it is obvious that this plan will become law. JB will then go down in history as the greatest governor of all time.


  51. - Jibba - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 10:45 am:

    === If this administration really wants to provide true property tax relief,===

    They might want to, but probably can’t do much. It really should be near the bottom of their list. They have a lot on their plate already at the state level, and likely can’t do it all with the expected revenues, so local issues that they don’t control directly should have lower priority.


  52. - Honeybear - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 10:48 am:

    I’m sorry OW
    My impulse is to shove my indignation down a throat.
    I hadn’t thought about the fact that I was feeding it.
    My anger and rage at
    Obfuscation, gaslighting and whatabouting
    is further fueled by my knowledge
    That there are intentionally retained
    Raunerites in high positions
    Still
    I get that my purging and ostracizing instincts
    are so so strong right now.
    I want all of them out
    All of them gone
    The damage and trauma caused
    is just now being revealed.
    So when I hear them spewing these obfuscations, gaslighting and whatabouting
    and not wanting to work with the administration.
    I get like the new Incredibles 2 “Super” Reflux
    I know it’s unbecoming
    yet I can’t just let it go.
    I can’t see the people who put me through so much, (Medical providers being unpaid, 27,977 dollars illegally withheld from my pay, and so much more) still around, still in charge. All the while being supported by the trolls who traffic in perfidy.


  53. - Louis G. Atsaves - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 10:51 am:

    @oswegowilly, try answering my questions this time instead of talking around them.

    And yes, slippery slopes, real or imagined, are part of Illinois politics.


  54. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 10:52 am:

    - Honeybear -

    No worries.

    Just look at the latest comment. It says it all.

    I’d be interested to get legislative breakdowns where these 3% live, and further, do they match 3% in some, and what districts will there be the greater impact.

    I’m sure it’s out there, this isn’t concerned trolling, it’s making a point to geography that may exist.


  55. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 10:55 am:

    I did answer.

    Rauner had NO legislative support, recruiting Dunkin, and at Times Drury and Franks helping.

    ===We just spent four long years watching the Democratic majorities worrying and stonewalling about what “could” happen had they gone along with some Rauner proposals, and suddenly worries and what could happen are no longer part of the political process in Illinois? And that is just recent history.===

    … Rauner couldn’t convince them to cobble 60 and 30, or that 71 and 36.

    Pritzker has that same challenge. Again, keep up.


  56. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 11:06 am:

    –We just spent four long years watching the Democratic majorities worrying and stonewalling about what “could” happen had they gone along with some Rauner proposals, and suddenly worries and what could happen are no longer part of the political process in Illinois?–

    Huh? What are you talking about, specifically?


  57. - NoGifts - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 11:07 am:

    We’ve been bludgeoned so long with the “state funding crisis that will either destroy the state or result in skyrocketing taxes for everyone” that whoever says they can solve the problem without without giant impacts on everyone is going to be a hero.


  58. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 11:28 am:

    “They have the votes, the question is what will the GOO do about being engaged and getting some concessions, or get steamrolled in a way that “all they do is protect millionaires”. Not a great look.”

    I sure hope they have the votes, and the tax cuts to 97% is a strong enough incentive to get at least 71 House Democrats on board.


  59. - Anon221 - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 11:32 am:

    Jibba- “…so local issues that they don’t control directly should have lower priority.”

    I’m not talking about abatement districts or what the local library charges on a property tax bill, I’m referring to the percentage of a property tax bill that goes to local education. A percentage that has increased steadily over the years as the burden to provide school funding has shifted from the State to the local property taxpayers. Changing from a 5% tax credit on property taxes paid on a primary residence in Illinois to a 6% tax credit does virtually nothing for a taxpayer’s bottom line. My suggestion wouldn’t eliminate that inequity, but it could help offset it more equitably.


  60. - DownState Girl - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 11:39 am:

    Oh my word I am so over the “they promised the lotto money would go the schools!” IT DOES, PEOPLE. But after payouts and expenses the lotto profits are in the millions while our schools require billions.


  61. - Platon - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 11:55 am:

    Unless, every cent is dedicated to funding the pensions, I can’t support this. The state has proven over the last several decades it can’t control spending.


  62. - ike - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 11:55 am:

    Louis - Rauner’s economic proposals were not a slippy slope, more like jumping off a cliff. Rauner wanted to intentionally bankrupt the state to get out of paying pensions. Everyone knew that his turnaround agenda was bunk.


  63. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 11:58 am:

    ===every cent is dedicated to funding the pensions, I can’t support this===

    Tell that to the kids under DCFS care, or to the old people dependent upon Meals on Wheels, or to the men and women guarding prisoners, or…


  64. - Platon - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 12:02 pm:

    Downstate Girl, our schools should require less funding as the school age population continues to decline at alarming rates.


  65. - JIbba - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 12:03 pm:

    I hear you, Anon221. I’m just saying that JB has more problems than he can already solve that are entirely up to the state, so trying to solve problems that are local in nature is taking on more than he must. And as you say, his solution is really a pittance.

    Personally, I’d prefer that he keeps it and actually achieves stability at the state level. Only after stabilizing the state should he increase education funding to relieve the property tax burden locally.

    And Platon, they could easily say that the increased 3.4B is for pensions by diverting current pension funding to other purposes. Just a shell game.


  66. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 12:04 pm:

    Platon, if the buildings are old and decrepit, they will need fixing or rebuilding.


  67. - Platon - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 12:25 pm:

    Possibly, but school consolidation should happen first.


  68. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 1:10 pm:

    –Possibly, but school consolidation should happen first.–

    LOL, then get out of the dorm room and get on implementing that simple solution. It’s only been talked about for 40 years.

    What’s the mechanism for forcing local districts to consolidate that don’t want to? What’s your timetable to completing your “solution?”

    Meanwhile, when buildings are falling down, the public health and safety aspects need to be addressed.


  69. - anon2 - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 3:23 pm:

    I’m not persuaded that JB gains anything if he allows the GOP to craft the bill to make it less progressive when they won’t put a single vote on it. What’s the upside again of accepting GOP advice, except lower tax rates for those who can best afford to pay?


  70. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 4:55 pm:

    –wordslinger, how about no state education funds without consolidation.–

    Brilliant. Sell it, outside of dorm-room debate club.


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