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Fun with numbers

Wednesday, Jun 5, 2019

* Illinois Policy Institute

The [infrastructure funding] plan doubles Illinois’ state gas tax to 38 cents from 19 cents per gallon, which will vault the total tax burden on Illinois gas beyond states such as New York and California to second-highest in the nation, according to 2018 data from the Tax Foundation. The increase will be effective July 1.

The state motor fuel tax will also be tied to inflation, meaning it will automatically rise in future years without lawmaker approval. The hike will cost the typical driver around $100 more in its first year.

OK, but the state’s Motor Fuel Tax hasn’t been increased since 1990. Factor in inflation since then and the MFT would be… wait for it… 38 cents per gallon today.

In other words, the tax hike to 38 cents per gallon puts us right where we’d be if lawmakers had pegged the MFT to inflation back then like they just did going forward.

* Illinois Policy Institute

On its way to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk is a bundle of spending proposals that come with tax hikes on Illinoisans – and pay raises for state lawmakers.

Due to a “paperwork mix-up that went uncorrected,” according to the Associated Press, lawmakers can expect a pay hike of $1,600 included in a $40 billion budget proposal that now awaits Pritzker’s signature. […]

Since 2008, state lawmakers’ annual salary has been held constant at $67,836. But that doesn’t include $10,000 committee chairmanship stipends, per diems, mileage reimbursements and other perks lawmakers receive for what is technically a part-time job.

OK, but $1,600 works out to $30.77 per week. Not much.

And if annual automatic increases based on cost of living had not been stopped every year since 2008, they’d be making $82,126.94 right now.

Also, if you have a job that requires you to travel as much as 200 miles twice each week and stay in a hotel or rent an apartment, I don’t see the problem with per diems and mileage reimbursements.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

28 Comments »
  1. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 9:54 am:

    Miller, by adding the context that IPI curiously chose to omit, you’re definitely not thinking of the children.


  2. - Steve Rogers - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 9:56 am:

    I sure could use a couple of paperwork mix-ups.


  3. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 9:58 am:

    The biggest problem with the infrastructure bill is that was written by the unions so it includes a prevailing wage of $119,000 a year.

    Let that sink in as you figure out how to pay back your student loans.

    In Illinois, the interests of powerful unions dominate the interests of middle class taxpayers


  4. - Mr. Smith - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 10:02 am:

    Facts are hard.


  5. - TheOne - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 10:05 am:

    What a salary for the amount of time spent in session…~$1,060/day (not account any stipend or Per Diem)
    -ILGA.gov legislative days for 2018


  6. - Just Me - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 10:07 am:

    I also get super annoyed when people say legislator are part-timers. I don’t know a single legislator, even the lazy ones, that only work on session days.

    We need high-quality people to run for these jobs, and the low pay and long hours is the biggest barrier to recruitment.


  7. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 10:07 am:

    ===a prevailing wage of $119,000 a year===

    How many road construction workers are employed full-time year-round?

    Go take a nap.


  8. - City Zen - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 10:15 am:

    All this talk of inflation. Makes you wonder why the graduated tax legislation has zero mention of inflation indexing.


  9. - PJ - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 10:19 am:

    ==Makes you wonder why the graduated tax legislation has zero mention of inflation indexing.==

    I’m confused. Tax rates are calculated in percentages - they don’t need to be altered for inflation.


  10. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 10:20 am:

    I guess I understand why committee chairmen get paid more. And maybe ten thousand is a correct amount. However I don’t think $10,000 is a stipend it is a good sum of money. S hundred dollars is a stipend


  11. - Montrose - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 10:21 am:

    “What a salary for the amount of time spent in session…~$1,060/day (not account any stipend or Per Diem)
    -ILGA.gov legislative days for 2018″

    Right, because they only do legislative work on session days. As JustMe said, these folks are working many many hours, in session and out. The outrage about the salary increase is just lazy.


  12. - Robert the 1st - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 10:28 am:

    =I’m confused. Tax rates are calculated in percentages - they don’t need to be altered for inflation.=

    Yes they do. In a few generations everyone might be paying the top rate. As money becomes less valued, salaries increase, but the brackets don’t. That’s how MO’s 100 year old progressive tax considers salaries over $9k the 1% wealthy.


  13. - City Zen - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 10:36 am:

    ==Tax rates are calculated in percentages - they don’t need to be altered for inflation.==

    The rates don’t, but the dollar income brackets themselves need to be indexed.


  14. - A Well-Regulated Commenter - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 10:46 am:

    ==The rates don’t, but the dollar income brackets themselves need to be indexed.==

    The brackets can be changed with new legislation at any time. Not tied to inflation is probably the better way to do it so the brackets are set at round numbers which people can make sense of rather than a number that has been pegged to inflation. I.e. 12,000 - 110,000 rather than 12,345 - 111,777


  15. - Huh? - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 10:51 am:

    “prevailing wage of $119,000 a year”

    Are you saying that construction workers aren’t worth $119k if they are fortunate enough to work full time/year-round? Are you saying that skilled labor, working in a dangerous environment isn’t worth $119k?

    What an arrogan… I must self censor myself to keep from being banned for life.


  16. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 11:03 am:

    According to the Illinois Dept. of Labor, the prevailing wages are determined by a survey of all jobs (not just union jobs) show the market value of a job. US Department of Commerce in their study Economic Census of Construction 2002 found no increase in cost of public projects that have prevailing wage laws.


  17. - Ole' Nelson - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 11:18 am:

    Prevailing wage makes it so the workers earn a good living. Non-union construction project costs are often similar, but most of the money goes to the top. I am okay with skilled workers making a good living.


  18. - SIUEalum - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 11:22 am:

    I average more than $100/year in vehicle damage due to poor roads, the extra sacrifice is something I’m glad to pay


  19. - Definitely not a Russian Bot - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 11:27 am:

    If the IPI folks don’t want to pay the higher gasoline tax, I suggest that they walk or take a bicycle to work.

    If there are any politicians who oppose the legislator pay increase, I suggest they donate their increase to the state to possibly reduce the state’s debt.


  20. - Excitable Boy - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 11:46 am:

    Hey Lucky, I manage a bunch of trades workers that make more than $119k per year, and they’re worth every penny.

    If you ever want to do something useful let me know, we could maybe let you clean their boots off after a long day.


  21. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 12:02 pm:

    –In Illinois, the interests of powerful unions dominate the interests of middle class taxpayers–

    LOL, I’m pretty sure it’s the objective of unions that their members become and remain middle-class taxpayers.

    You’re a class warrior, now LP? Moving beyind self-parody?


  22. - Generic Drone - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 12:05 pm:

    Lucky. What a hypocrit. Tou oppose unions writing laws while supporting ALEC writing laws for republicans.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 12:08 pm:

    ===In Illinois, the interests of powerful unions dominate the interests of middle class taxpayers.===

    Union members are taxpayers too.

    Prevailing wage allows labor to earn the wages that parties agree to well before work begins.

    It also allows those workers, on the wage side, know they are earning the rates now seen as the accepted rates.

    It’s as though you think everyone earns their money… except… labor.


  24. - City Zen - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 12:13 pm:

    ==The brackets can be changed with new legislation at any time.==

    Guessing that won’t be part of the marketing campaign.

    ==Not tied to inflation is probably the better way to do it so the brackets are set at round numbers==

    Feds don’t seem to have this problem. I don’t think “making it easier for the government” will poll well either.


  25. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 3:10 pm:

    “The biggest problem with the infrastructure bill is that was written by the unions so it includes a prevailing wage of $119,000 a year.”

    Bruce Rauner made $333 million in 2015-2017, not even counting 2018 yet, while trying to repeal prevailing wage at the local level, fighting against state workers and ripping off the newest and lowest paid workers on steps.


  26. - Taxedoutwest - Wednesday, Jun 5, 19 @ 6:14 pm:

    The lowest scale is $130,000/year, BTW. And, Rich, you took the words right out of my mouth, a small percentage work 50 weeks of 40 hours.


  27. - theCardinal - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 6:53 am:

    Good pay for those that see it as it as a part time gig. I want my GA members running for thier beliefs and convictions and dedication, not for the dough. Snark


  28. - Blue Dog Dem - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 6:57 am:

    I would surmise that only a handful of readers put their money where their mouth is when it comes to spending their own money on union produced goods and services.


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