Property, income tax rates in Illinois

Sen. Harmon and Rep. Lilly continue their town hall meeting at Oak Park library, July 17, 2013 — from Illinois Blues: How the Ruling Party Talks to Voters, Chapter 3, “There Will Be No Cuts”:

The village clerk asked if property tax rates might rise. A “really, really good” question, Lilly said. She herself had asked it in a legislative committee meeting.

But really good question or not, she instead addressed the related but separate issue of allocating state funds for public schooling. “No way is education to be funded equitably across the state,” she said, meaning face-the-facts it won’t happen or over-my-dead-body it shouldn’t. Not clear.

But her “equitably” called up haves-vs.-have-nots funding of public schools — a sensitive issue for Oak Park homeowners. Harmon, an Oak Park homeowner, said he was “very sensitive” to the property-tax issue and let it go at that.

A man wondered if a “teeny tiny” income tax increase might be imposed. Harmon brought up (again) the Democrats’ “sixty-seven percent” increase (from 3 to 5%), signaling quote marks and adding, “We Democrats say two percent.” Challenged earlier, he was not quite ready to let that one go.

Again he ruled out service cuts. “We have already cut too much.”

Nonetheless, the state’s money shortage, said Lilly, was “really, really testing” the state’s financial capacities. Yes it was!

It’s about revenue, a man, said. “The rich should pay more.” He commended Harmon for a Wednesday Journal column in which he had put “crisis” in quotes. “Some are too rich” to need help from the government, the man added.

“Let ’em run for governor,” Harmon interjected, drawing laughter. Bruce Rauner had already announced, was to win the governorship sixteen months later.

Illinois Blues is available in paperbackepub and Amazon Kindle formats.

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