Thursday, April 12, 2007

When E.F. Hutton Speaks...

I am swamped today, so I can't elaborate on this one as much as I would like, but...I can't believe that this story isn't getting more play.

(Unlike me), Speaker Madigan is a man of few words - but when he speaks, watch out. Leaving little to no room for equivocation, he laid it out yesterday for all to hear:
House Speaker Michael J. Madigan said Wednesday education in Illinois will not improve without a tax increase.

“Before we finish the budget in May or June, Illinois is going to need a tax increase,” Madigan said. “You’ve heard it many, many times — we need more and better education. That takes money.” (emphasis added)

Madigan held an open forum for about 100 students, faculty and the general public Wednesday at the College of Lake County’s Lakeshore Campus in Waukegan.

Wish I could delve into this more, maybe I can in the next day or so, but in the interim, feel free to weigh in.


At April 13, 2007 at 4:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Madigan has always been a creature of the teachers' unions so this support for more taxes on Illinois citizens for the benefit of teachers, probably without any substantive increase in accountability, is not surprising.

Madigan is reported to be a tax swap man. But those pesky problems with the tax swap won't go away.
Communities and even individual homeowners aren't exactly sure how much property tax relief they will get and for how long. They aren't sure how much money their local schools will get, or even if they will get as much state aid as before. And especially for the Cook and collar suburbs, this translates to likely higher property taxes soon, in addtion to a 2 percent income tax increase that the guv and legislators can use for anything they choose, not just the schools.

Meanwhile, over in the GRT camp, AFSCME has chimed in to demand that the state hire 1000 more workers with the moolah the GRT will generate. AFSCME needs more dues, and even less work for its members, of course. It appears that Filan wasn't being completely honest when he said that GRT revenues would not go to expand the
bureaucracy. New revenues for the GRT may be restricted but they will free up existing state revenues for all kinds of things including hiring hundreds of state employees we don't need. Business owners who believe they will suffer serious losses under the GRT will no doubt be distressed to learn that their contributions will be going not only to care for the sick and educate children but also to provide lots of make work state jobs for the public sector.

A stalemate and no tax increase is looking better and better for Illinois taxpayers.

At April 13, 2007 at 12:22 PM, Blogger Yellow Dog Democrat said...

Calling Madigan a creature of the teacher's unions is woefully ignorant.

Madigan pushed the creation of the tuition tax credit, vehemently opposed by the teacher's unions.

More currently, Madigan has made his opposition to the Gross Receipts Tax very apparent, despite its endorsement by both the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Education Association.

You're analysis of the "pesky problems" with the tax swap are equally ignorant. HB 750 spells out exactly how much money each school district would get. You can find that information here. While proponents of the legislation can't calculate the precise dollars and cents of how much property tax relief they'll get, even a fool with a calculator can multiply the amount of the school district portion of their tax bill by 21% to find out the minimum property tax relief they'll receive.

And how long will the new money for schools and property tax relief last? Simple. Until some lawmaker introduces legislation to cut $2 billion from the education budget and $2 billion in property tax relief, gets it passed in both chambers, and finds a Governor to sign it. In other words, forever.

At April 13, 2007 at 12:36 PM, Blogger Yellow Dog Democrat said...

Also, a quick review of spending by the Illinois Federation of Teachers for 2006 shows:

$500,000 for Rod Blagojevich
$57,500 for Mike Madigan
$55,000 for Emil Jones
$50,000 for Tom Cross
$12,500 for Skip Saviano
$3,500 for Frank Watson

Although the IFT did a noble job of trying to disguise it, they actually gave more money last year to House Republican leadership funds than to House Democrats.

Who's the tool now?

At April 14, 2007 at 4:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may be stupid per YD but I'm not stupid enough to take Ralph Martire's figures as gospel. Ralph (and his heavily union-dominated board) has dedicated his career to getting Illinois citizens to turn over their wallets to the public sector, especially the schools.

Even if you accept Ralph's figures, though, it is clear that
the problem with a tax swap hasn't changed. The state cannot control local property taxes. Most state school allotment increases are modest under the swap. Whether they are or not, most local districts will soon be asking for higher school levies. That 12 percent abatement will shrink in terms of actual dollars.
But we'll be stuck with the new income tax increase, which will take a bite out of even modest salary increases as well.

HB750 provides minimal and short term property tax relief with the goal of selling citizens on a substantial income tax increase. It's a tax on the middle class, not the wealthy. The wealthy, of course, are best off with a continuation of the flat tax system with or without property tax relief. But nobody wants to antagonize the rich and powerful, even Ralph and the unions.

If you want tax reform, change the Constitution and implement a progressive income tax. Show a little courage.

At April 14, 2007 at 12:00 PM, Anonymous DuPage Saint said...

We do not have to amend the constitution just follow it. "The State has the primary responsibility for financing
the system of public education" But then who pays attention to the Il. Constitution anyway. And please remember when it comes to taxpayer money for education Figures do not lie but liers figure


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