Failure by legislators in Springfield on Tuesday, November 29, is positive for Illinoisans

December 3, 2011


Kudos to the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday, November 30, for noting the failure of the Illinois General Assembly as its members adjoined a day earlier with little to show for its abbreviated one-day session.


Left undone by legislators was how to deal with the unfunded pension problem which affects the pocketbooks of Illinois taxpayers.


Also reported was how Illinois lawmakers adjourned without reaching an agreement on giving tax-break packages to Sears Holdings Corp. and CME Group Inc. aimed at keeping these two major employees from leaving the state.  In actuality this was a positive move, as small businesses, which are the real job creators, are not given such consideration and must fight for their own survival in Illinois’ hostile business climate.


Some unreported positive news by the Chicago Tribune was the fate of the latest version of Senate Bill 397 (a “tax relief package), voted down in the House when it failed to pass muster by House Republicans.


The failed Senate proposal was billed by Democrats as a benefit to the working poor in Illinois.  Two provisions in the bill, however, point in the opposite direction, as were stated in a news release by Kristina Rasmussen of the Illinois Policy Institute on Tuesday, November 29:


1)  “The personal exemption expansion offers tax savings of a paltry $2.50 per taxpayer, but remember, the income tax hike cost the average family $`1,500.  So in exchange for taxing away the equivalent of three months of grocery money, some would now give families tax relief that amounts to the cost of chips and a sandwich.


2) Expanding the tax credit often discourages people eligible for the tax credit from earning more money and advancing their careers.”


Instead of expanding the earned income tax credit, Illinois would be better off using funds for the earned income tax credit to help all taxpayers; lawmakers should lower the personal income tax rate or implement a real increase in the personal exemption.


May Republican Illinois legislators remain steadfast against any expansion of the earned income tax credit, despite future attempts to tweak or sweeten the pot.













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