Which Direction are We Going?
Decisions being made in Springfield right now will change the direction of the state for better or worse.
The month of May is when Madigan and company like to pass $38 billion dollar plus budgets in two hours. Taxpayers need to be on guard.
First a reminder of the state of the state:
- According to a March report by WalletHub, Illinoisans have the highest effective state and local tax rate by median household income.
- Illinois is the LEAST fiscally solvent state according to a George Mason Study last October.
- In 2018 the fastest growing job sector in Illinois was government. We ranked 46th out of 50th in private sector job growth, growing less than 1 percent. The rest of the nation grew at more than twice our rate. This is despite having the 5th largest GDP in the US and a diverse economic base.
- Outmigration: 5th year in a row where we lost more residents than came in. That is like losing the equivalent of Joliet, Naperville or Rockford.
- Despite record returns in the market, our unfunded pension liability grew again last year. According to Moody’s we owe $400 billion, which is over 600% of our sole-source income and the average in other states is 107%
- The state has not had a balanced budget since 2001.
On the positive side, not even one of the worst environments for business can hold back the Trump economy in Illinois.
Thank the Trump tax cuts and regulatory reform for an increase in tax collections of $1.5 billion more than anticipated last month. It is an important note to Springfield that growing the economy is the way to grow tax revenue naturally. Instead of looking for ways to help our economy along, though, the political class is looking to spend every dime of that new revenue, and more, without paying down our over $8 billion in back bills or making any other cuts. In fact, despite this influx of money, what is swirling about Springfield is a massive, highest in the nation gas and vehicle tax proposal which would set Illinois back.
With the extreme late term abortion bills, marijuana legalization and graduated income tax bills stalled in the House, there is an effort to focus energy into instead passing this massive gas tax. We already pay the 10th highest gas tax in the nation and the bill under consideration, HB391, would do the following:
- Increase the motor fuel tax from 19 cents to 44 cents (231% increase)
- Increase vehicle registration fees by $50 to $148 (current transportation portion of fee is $98)
- Increase electric car registration to $1,000 from $17.50
- Gas taxes and vehicle fees would automatically increase every year with inflation
- The collar counties of DuPage, Kane, Lake , Will and McHenry could add their own gas tax up to 8 cents
- Cities and counties could add an additional 3 cent tax if they approve union favorable ordinances
- Creates another jobs program that community based organizations run
We all want our infrastructure maintained, so make your legislators prioritize it, because this bill is exactly the kind of bill that will drive residents and businesses to our surrounding borders to do business. Every Illinoisan lives within 1.5 hours of the border, and the majority even closer.
You can stop this bill. The reason the abortion bills, marijuana bill, and graduated income tax bill are stalled is because the grass roots have let their voices be heard. Do not let them get away with this tax increase especially in light of ever increasing property taxes, no spending reforms for pensions or otherwise, and bloated bureaucracies in education and every other government entity.
You can Make a Difference – or Just Stand on the Sidelines
In the Wall Street Journal of September 18, 2018, guest columnist Don Willet remarked, “Citizenship is not a spectator sport.“ Thomas Jefferson wrote from Paris in 1789, “Wherever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government.” Knowing all this, please take action by calling or emailing your legislator and tell them you want spending cuts and reform and no new taxes. Regardless of party – they all need to hear from you and know you are watching.