A 50% income tax hike was not high enough. Slot machines in every convenience store and tavern wouldn’t tempt enough people.
Senate Democrats caved into the Rev. and Senator James Meeks’ goal and voted 31-27-1 to raise income tax rates 67%, plus putting sales taxes on 39 services, including internet service providers, cable television, photocopying, private clubs, dating services, oil exchange and goodness knows what else, except sponsor Senator John Cullerton told the Senate that barbers had been left alone.
I guess they talk so much they are dangerous.
Speaking against the bill were
- Lake Barrington’s Dan Duffy
- DuPage County’s Kirk Dillard
- LaSalle’s County’s Gary Dahl
- Okawville ‘s David Luechtefeld
- Dixon’s Tim Bivens
- Bloomington’s Bill Brady
- Chenoa’s Dan Rutherford
- Palatine’s Matt Murphy
Silent was Republican Senate Leader Christine Radogno.
By far the most effective was Matt Murphy.
He is in the Ronald Reagan of disagreeing without being disagreeable.
His best line was,
“To me this is a prescription to win the race with Michigan to the economic bottom of this nation.”
Murphy began by asking that people disagree agreeably, that they not take the debate personally.
Next he moved onto the fact that Illinois is “one of 7 states with fewer jobs than we had ten years ago.
“That means $4,000 in lost taxes for every job we don’t have.
“The people in this state are leaving. They are assessing the value of the American Dream and are sadly finding it someplace else.
He said the proposal was “the highest tax increase in Illinois history.
Then, he compared Illinois with Michigan.
Murphy warned Democrats that the promise of property tax relief held out by Senator Meeks and others in promoting Senate Bill 750 would backfire, just as the lottery did.
People heard Zeke Giorgi tell them that the lottery would solve the problem of funding education and were surprised when it did not. (In fact, the lottery was passed to fund the Regional Transportation Authority in 1974, which Murphy apparently did not know or his point would have stronger. The lottery was not earmarked for education until the mic-1980’s when the next generation of legislators got tried of complaints that it wasn’t going to education.)
Murphy was referring to the so-called “tax swap” part of the bill.
People will think,
“My property tax bill is finally going down.
“It’s going up.”
Had Murphy (or anyone else) a longer perspective, they might have pointed out that (and I’m virtually certain I am correct here) have pointed out that the property tax credit used to be 10%, but was cut back to 5% in order to use the money for something else in the budget.
“Be careful. Be careful,” he said.
He again assuaged the feelings of the bill’s supporters.
“I appreciate the Senate, the intentions of the (supporters of the bill).
“If you look at Governor Quinn’s budget, it balances.”
“You can come up with cuts (to balance the budget).
“I did my homework. I didn’t share it, Mr. President. I didn’t share it,” referring to Senate President John Cullerton’s chiding of Republicans for not coming up with suggested cuts.
“You can make the cuts.
“You don’t have to raise taxes.
“To fund the pension, you may have to short term borrow.
Referring to the bill, Murphy concluded by saying,
“This is a dagger hanging over the head of everyone in Illinois.”
There were so many other good arguments by Republican senators.
But it’s late and I’m tired. Maybe I’ll find time to give some of the other speeches justice tomorrow.
If the House doesn’t decide to follow the Senate Democrats’ lead and try to mortally wound Illinois.
I do want to tell you that Murphy’s demeanor and presentation impressed me the most.
With Rockford Republican Dave Syverson leading the way for the GOP, Lake County’s Terry Link managed to pass his bill to put casinos in Waukegan, Rockford, Danville and Chicago. The vote was 30-28-0. It failed the first time up.
State Senator Brad Burzynski (R-Rochelle), who represents part of the Rockford area, verified the vote, that is, made sure the 30 votes necessary to pass a bill in the Senate really were on the floor.
The Senate lists the bill being debated on its web site as it broadcasts debates. Senate Bill 174 was the 67% income tax hike and service sales tax imposition bill. Senate Bill 744 was the casino bill. Murphy has a photo with the casino bill’s number under his name because he spoke against that bill.