Evidently the Illinois General Assembly believes that the financial quagmire they find themselves in can only be solved by raising your taxes. On Sunday, the House voted to approve a permanent 32 percent income tax increase, taking the tax rate from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent. The Senate followed suit, ironically, on July 4.
Additionally, they increased the business rate from 5.25 percent to 7 percent.
Under this plan, if you are a family of four, with a combined household income of $100,000, you would now pay an additional $1,095 in income taxes. If you are a small business owner, you also have the business tax increase to contend with.
Some folks might say that’s not that big of an increase when you take into account how bad the state’s situation is and that they can live with it. However, I would counter saying it wouldn’t be that bad, if that was all that was asked of me. But it’s not.
The state not only takes high income taxes and business taxes, both of which apply to me as the owner of a small business, but also charge high fees on a variety of services. When was the last time you went to go to the DMV for something? Do you remember when you didn’t need to take out a personal loan to get a new plate sticker or license renewal? Obviously I’m being snarky, but prices have skyrocketed over the years to take pay for the General Assembly’s financial mismanagement.
But its not just the state robbing from your wallet. It’s even your local governments.
Back in April the St. Clair County Board voted to approve a property tax increase that results in a $40 annual increase on a $100,000 home. Only Dave Tiedemann and I voted against that proposal. The county blamed the state saying it had to take more because the state wasn’t paying what it owed to us.
Cities and school districts have, for the most part, all levied higher property taxes, in many cases due in large part to the state not getting them the money they are supposed to receive.
Additionally, both the county and the school districts in St. Clair County recently asked you all for additional sales tax revenue. The county wanted it for public safety and the schools as a way to shift construction related debt and costs onto a different area of their financial plate. You all voted both of them down by fairly overwhelming majorities in the April election.
Let’s not forget though that the county had previously asked you in 2014 to consider a sales tax increase to help pay for improvements to the jail. That tax also went down in flames by a margin of three to one.
You have spoken loud and clear that you are overtaxed and overburdened, yet the lawmakers continue to take more and more. You are asked time and again to open your wallets and do a little more because the situation is dire. There’s a murderers row of politicians telling you how the tax increase proposal was the lesser of two evils, the other being the state reduced to junk bond status.
And they may be right. But where is the sacrifice on their end? We are constantly being asked to give and sacrifice. We haven’t done anything wrong to deserve this. Our only crime has been electing these people time and again, and for that, shame on us.
As of press time for the Weekly, Governor Bruce Rauner had vetoed the budget package, which included the tax increase. The Senate did vote to override his veto but the House had not yet, There were some wondering if there were enough votes to do so in the House. But even if the tax increase goes nowhere, we need to remember. We need to remember who voted to kick us when we were already down for the count and voted to raise our taxes again.
I have a few men that I consider friends that voted yes for that tax increase on Sunday. I’d be happy to go have a beer with them and talk life. But I’m also not afraid to tell them both they deserve primary opposition for selling us out and that I’m very disappointed in them.