Every tax district seems to want more money.
It’s probably a characteristic of the beast.
The more money, the more employees.
The more employees, the higher the salaries of the top guys.
Now new Regional Transportation Authority boss Kirk Dillard wants a new tax.
The May 5th Chicago Sun-Times said so.
This should not be a surprise.
Dillard was one of the DuPage County State Senators who cracked the suburban anti-RTA coalition that I was part of putting together in 1974 when we almost beat the RTA referendum.
At that point almost every suburban Republican and Democrat joined in opposition to the regional mass transportation’s formation.
We lost by less than 13,000 votes, with the proponents’ pollster reportedly finding that the kNOw RTA effort was picking up one percentage point a day.
(And the referendum may well have been defeated.
(“It looks like your RTA referendum is losing, Mayor Daley.”
(His reply, “Oh, I don’t know about that. We haven’t finished casting the ballots.”
(Later State Rep. Don Totten, the Schaumburg Township Republican Chairman color coded all Chicago wards and found one precinct in a ward going 55-60% for the referendum in which 100% of the votes were in favor. There were about 80 votes in favor, no votes against and 60 spoiled ballots. That leads me to believe that the election was not an honest one.
(And, state law did not allow a recount.)
In any event, the coalition held until all but one of the DuPage County State Senators (Carol Pankau being the exception) sold out the suburbs to impose a 300% increase in the RTA sales tax.
It went from 1/4 of one percent to 3/4 of one percent.
And, in a stunning coincidence, it passed on April Fool’s Day in 2008.
Suburban county boards were bought off by being given have of the increase to be used for transportation or law enforcement.
Using it for the latter reason was why the DuPage County State Senators caved.
The state legislators took the heat and the local county board members got to spend the money, a real disconnect similar to municipal and county share of the state income tax half of which Governor Bruce Rauner wants to take back to address the state’s financial debacle.
So much for background, comments on this year’s tax tomorrow.