Ill GOP Leaders Want to Repeal Tax Hike

January 12, 2012

(With additional reporting from the Associated Press)

The state's top Republican legislative leaders say Illinois' income tax hike hasn't been a solution to the state's fiscal problems, and they're pushing for an immediate repeal.

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation last year that raised the personal tax rate to 5 percent from 3 percent for four years, which is a 67 percent increase. Corporate taxes also went up.

The goal was to help bring Illinois out of its deepest budget hole in history.

A report by the Illinois Policy Institute claims the increase made Illinois less competitive for business and had other negative impacts.

Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno and House Minority Leader Tom Cross want an immediate repeal and support legislation filed last year.

Cross said the state needs to look at steeper budgetary cuts, pension reform, and salary freezes for union workers.

"If you're an Illinois taxpayer, you ought to resent this, and you ought to be angry about this," he said. "You ought to say, 'Why didn't you do the things you know needed to be done, and we could have avoided going down this road?'"

Democratic State Representative Naomi Jakobsson of Urbana said the tax hike was the right thing for the state.

"We knew that it wasn't going to magically solve all of the problems overnight," she said. "But at the same time it set the tone for working on the budget the way we did last year, and I anticipate the way we will again this year."

Quinn's office disputes the GOP leaders and think tank's claims. A spokeswoman said the increase brought in $7 billion last year.

Story source: WILL