Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) presented a new budget proposal that would make permanent the “temporary” income tax hike he signed into law in 2011. Without the higher income tax rate in place, Quinn said, the state would face “severe cuts” that would “starve our schools.”
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“Illinois had no income tax until 1969. Since then the state income tax rate has been raised ‘temporarily,’ then made permanent, then raised ‘temporarily’ again, and is now headed to being made permanent yet again. Illinois has gone 45 years promising to use the income tax to solve budget problems, yet those problems are worse than ever.
“Gov. Quinn promised three years ago the tax increase would be temporary and would fix state finances. Instead, Illinois spending is at a record high. No amount of money will ever be enough with a General Assembly and governor’s mansion occupied by persons who routinely lie to state residents and care only about spending more and nothing about spending less.”
“Gov. Quinn’s efforts to make the 2011 income tax hike permanent buck the trend of almost every other state across the nation. Dozens of states have cut their income taxes in the last year to help spur economic development and create jobs. Many have already seen improvements.
“Illinois currently has the 11th highest total tax burden in the nation, when calculated as a percentage of income, so making this tax permanent will make the state less competitive. Quinn’s tax policy is the exact opposite of what the state should be doing as people and businesses continue to leave the state in droves. Illinois legislators should focus on making the state a more attractive place for businesses and workers by restraining spending, lowering taxes, and reducing unnecessary regulations.”
The Heartland Institute is a 30-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.