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03/10/2009

Pat Quinn the Taxpayer's "Best Friend"

  I can see the campaign commercials already:

"Hi, my name is Jane the Janitor.  I'm voting for Pat Quinn because he lowered my state taxes and put money in my pocket when I needed it the most!"

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has tipped his political hand and let the Madigans and anyone else who's interested in running for his office next year that after 30 years in state politics he can play the game with the best of them.

  I wrote in this space several weeks ago that Quinn, who became Governor after Rod Blagojevich was impeached and convicted, was at risk of becoming the fall guy when the state income tax is likely raised this year to help fill the state's projected $9 billion dollar budget hole.  Quinn has not ruled out the tax increase but now says its his "philosophy" to levy taxes based on a citizen's "ability to pay".   And Quinn, who is still writing his budget plan to be delivered on March 18th, hinted that he favors writing rules that would not only protect low income taxpayers from an increase but actually reduce or perhaps remove some of them from the state income tax rolls.  Said Quinn:  "If you use the personal exemption to provide tax relief to famlies, especially parents raising kids, you can give tax relief to a lot of people who right now are paying too much."

  Right now, the state income tax is  a flat 3% of every Illinois worker's gross income.  It is estimated that each additional point would raise about $4 billion dollars in new revenue for cash-strapped Springfield.  But if low income workers are removed from the tax rolls...expect those on the upper end to get hit with a bigger increase, perhaps up to five per cent of gross income which would be a whopping 67% hike over what those people pay in state income tax today.

  But let's get back to the pure politics of it.  Quinn's opponents in the 2010 democratic primary (Attorney General Lisa Madigan et al?) and the republican contenders should he reach the general election campaign would find themselves engaged in a class war should they bring up the tax increase issue.  And if the current recession should persist well into to 2010 (as some economists predict), then the Governor would be right where he likes to be, fighting for the little guy.

  Oh, for the record, Quinn has not announced that he's running for a full term as Governor.  But clearly, he appears to be taking care of business in case he does decide to run.

 

Comments

Charles,

Just give it up and retire. You are so much in the bag for the Dems. This article and last nights clip on the 5 pm news. Here you are talking to Sen Trotter about the tax increase and him trying to balance the budget and he is entering the Signature Airline terminal, more then likely for his private jet flight down to Springfield. We didn't you ask him why he wasn't taking a commerical flight and saving the taxpayers some money. Next time, the least you can do is run in front of him and get the door for him.

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