Not content to have raised taxes in Carpentersville District 300 last year, Advance 300, the most recent name of the District 300 tax hike coalition has set its sights on raising state taxes.
Putting up their logo inspires me to note how appropriate it is that it includes an arrow pointing up.
Take a look at the following email sent out two afternoons ago and see if you don’t agree:
Important School Funding Legislation in Springfield
Let Your Representatives Know You Want Action Before They Break On June 1st!
Illinois is facing a budget crisis. On this most people will agree. As for how best to fix it, there is very little consensus and the end of the legislative session is drawing near.
Regressive taxes: The tax system in the State of Illinois is considered one of the most regressive in the nation. By this we mean that our tax system does not take into account someone’s ability to pay the tax. This puts a relatively larger tax burden on poorer people compared to many other states.
The problem with property taxes: Taxing bodies such as municipalities, park districts, libraries and schools are supported by property taxes. Does a widow living on social security have the same ability to pay as the double-income, no-kids couple who live across the street? Of course not, and as all of us who participated in the 2006 referendum campaign know, this puts the schools at a distinct disadvantage when they are looking for additional revenue to support services or to build to support growth.
Get educated and make your voice heard in Springfield: There is an opportunity to change Illinois’ taxing structure currently being considered by our legislators. Following are links to obtain more information about alternative plans. If you look, you will find plenty of information both for and against plans. There is also a link to a comprehensive plan called the “Burnham Plan for World Class Education” which promotes education reform and fiscal accountability. This plan is receiving positive reviews. Currently, the only place to view the entire plan is on the A+Illinois website where you can also find an 800 number which will connect you directly to your legislator’s office.
Looking forward to another school property tax referendum in the future? We didn’t think so. Neither are we! If you believe that the State of Illinois has an obligation to properly fund education while relieving the burden on property owners, we encourage you to research the current proposals and to contact your representative to express your opinion.
Links to legislation and legislators:
For an overview HB750, visit: http://www.ctbaonline.org/HB 750.htm
For Ralph Martire’s presentation to the Community Finance Committee, visit:
For information on the “Burnham Plan for World Class Education” and a phone number connecting you to your legislators office, visit:
You can also get email addresses and phone numbers for legislators that represent the D300 area here:
Thank you for reading.
Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Too bad these folks can’t figure out how to do a cost/benefit study.
You will note that there is a link to Ralph Matire, the itinerant pied piper of higher taxes in Illinois.
The group gave his group $10,000.
Thanks for sharing, Cal!! Ralph Martire was a guest speaker at D300 Community Committees twice, once several years ago pushing HB750 and again several weeks ago at the Community Finance Committee. Unfortunately, administration didn’t invite a guest with an another viewpoint. I know it’s not ethical, but is it legal?
Cal, full disclosure, I am a member of Martire’s board.
I believe the state is facing an extreme financial crisis, which we simply can’t cut our way out of. I believe our current tax system is regressive. I believe that property taxes are higher than they need to be, and the heavy dependence on property taxes for school funding is a major cause.
So, I’m intrigued by your thoughts on the issue. Which points, if any, in the notice do you disagree with? The notice doesn’t call for support for any specific solution, and recoomends people informing themselves on the proposals, pro and con.
As to cost/benefit, I presume your point is many districts in your area woud be net losers under the 750 proposal. I would think you are exactly right. More net additional income tax money would be paid in than property tax relief coming back. Higher income people paying more is the typical result of making a tax system less regressive.
I think 750 is imperfect, but I have supported it (in concept) for years now because there have been no other proposals on the table. What do you think is a better approach, one that will truly address the overall problem.
Steve, that is exactly Mr. Skinner’s point. He doesn’t understand that some people have the capacity to be concerned outside of their own little (affluent) corner of the world.
I don’t agree with you. Cal is one of the brighter people to serve in the GA since I’ve been involved. He and I understand that there are issues we don’t agree on, because I am more liberal than he is, but we’ve known that for years and always gotten along quite well knowing it.
That’s exactly why I asked for his thoughts. Specifically, with the interest on the unfunded pension liability eating up all our natural revenue growth, I don’t know how we get out of our current fiscal situation.
Some think we can cut our way out, but I don’t think that’s true. I believe that even an R GA couldn’t make the kind of cuts needed over, say, a five years span, to get us back on solid ground. So, what choices are we left with?
Changes in future pension benefits won’t change an iota of the fact that the unfunded liability grows each year because of the interest compounding at 8.5% a year.
Medicaid liability is going to grow even if we don’t expand coverage (not as fast, obviously, but it will still grow).
People rage about the outlandish tuition increases at our public universities (a huge, hidden middle class tax increase as far as I am concerned), but a big part of that is we haven’t kept up the state part of the bargain, so tuition and fees is having to pay a growing piece of the total cost. Unless we want to make a significant investment in higher education, and keep making it, tuition will keep going up double digits.
We can argue all we want about elementary and secondary education reforms and property tax reforms, but I consider it unarguable that there are many districts around the state that currently just can’t raise enough money thru property taxes and state aid to offer a good education, and many of those districts have some of the highest tax rates in the state. We’re not going to get the money to help that by lowering the state aid to affluent districts (most of them don’t get much general state aid to start with), and we’re not going to get it by raising taxes on the poor (we’re already one of the most regressive states in the country in that regard).
So, my question to Cal isn’t rhetorical. I ask it of many people. Are there doable,real strategies (don’t give me bs about the state air fleet or the governor’s security detail being cut back) that will get us out of the mess we’re in? I know there are spending excesses, and foolish expenditures, but I also have a pretty good idea how much those might add up to, and it just ain’t enough.