The failed 2011 Illinois Income tax rate increase must be canned

January 17, 2012

A Tribune article by reporter Monique Garcia on Sunday, January 15, had this unseemly title:  A year after income tax hike, GOP slams Democrats.  And why wasn’t the Republican action merited? 
The law to raise the personal tax hike from 3% to 5% and the corporate tax from 4.8% to 7% was passed in a Lame Duck session of Illinois’s 96th General Assembly on January 12, 2011 without a single Republican vote.  But it did receive the support of almost every legislator who retired a few hours later or who was defeated at the ballot box the previous November.
This 2011 state income tax hike was partisan legislation at its worst among lawmakers unable to curb their habitual and out-of-control outrageous spending. Yet Quinn had the gall to recently inform Republicans that they were not thinking realistically in requesting that last year’s tax hikes to be repealed. 
Have you forgotten, Governor Quinn, that in your November 2010 election bid you called for a smaller tax increase?   You, like many politicians, have no shame when tossing aside election pledges when an opportunity arises to transfer more money from taxpayers to government. 
Will you please address these questions, Governor Quinn, before you reject out right the sane appeal by Republicans to repeal the largest tax hike in the state’s history by the Illinois 96th General Assembly? 
1.  What have you and Democrat lawmakers in Springfield done to curb spending?
2.  What have you and Democrat lawmakers done in Springfield to reform burgeoning state worker pensions and Medicaid benefits which, in turn, gave impetus (weak management) for Moody’s to reduce Illinois’s credit rating from A1 to A2.  Illinois now has the worst credit rating of any state in the nation, which will most likely mean Illinois will end up paying a higher interest rate on borrowed money.
The state spent 2-1/2 billion more on Medicaid this year than was budgeted, amounting to 2-1/2 billion of unpaid medical bills.  Why?  Illinois loosened the requirements of who was eligible so more individuals are now enrolled in the program and using it.  Illinois’s unfunded pension fund, although stated as $85 billion could amount upwards to as high as $200 billion.
3.  How have you and Democrat lawmakers spent the estimated $7 billion brought in by the tax hikes of last year?
4.  If the tax hike did so well last year in adding to the coffers, why have you signaled that there is a urgent need to borrow $800 million more in the near future?
An interesting poll was conducted by Pulse Opinion Research on behalf of the Illinois Policy Institute.  Five hundred likely Illinois voters were surveyed relative to how they perceived the January 2011 Illinois tax state income tax hike.  The results were published by the Illinois Policy Institute on January 8th under the title, January 2012:  The pulse of Illinois.
The results found that 68% oppose the tax increase of January, 2011; 78% believe Illinois isn’t on sound fiscal footing, likewise the economy; 65% were not confident the tax hike had been used responsibly; 53% feel the tax hike should be repealed immediately; and 71% believe it is now more likely that business will leave Illinois rather than move into the state.
Several days after the Illinois Policy Institute released its telling January 2012:  The pulse of Illinois report, it released yet another report on January 12 with this eye-catching title: The verdict is in:  The tax hike failed – 3 reasons why.  
As stated in the above report:
“The tax hike flunked.  It failed to put Illinois on sound fiscal footing, it failed at restoring confidence in gtovernmnet5’s ability to meet serious challenges head on.  It failed to strengthen the state’s economy.  It failed to create opportunity and prosperity.   It failed families and the businesses that want to be a part of making Illinois great again.” 
The same Illinois Policy Institute report also presented a three-fold explanation of how things are worse today after the 2011 tax hike: 
1.  Spending grew, bills went unpaid and pension reform stalled.
2.  Illinois’s unemployment problem worsened.
3.  The tax hike made Illinois less competitive and forced businesses to leave the state. 
Please check out this Illinois Policy Institute website for a more detailed explanation of the “how” and the “why” of the 2011 tax hike failure:  
In 2011 House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton — along with the Democrat lawmakers who backed them —
ignored those informing them that the income tax hike was the wrong path to take.
The verdict is in, thanks to the excellent work of the Illinois Policy Institute, John Tillman, CEO!
Without further ado, for the good of Illinois and its taxpayers, a reverse of the 2011 income tax hike is called for.  The people of Illinois deserve better than being forced to feed a broken system.
Illinois is already losing jobs at an alarming rate, and a continuation of the 2011 income rate tax hike will only make things worse.  Do your part.  Download the Candidates Pledge to Repeal the 2011 Income Tax Increases and ask your legislator to sign it. 

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