Speaking in reference to the just-passed bill in the Illinois legislature to raise corporate and personal income taxes State Rep. David Reis noted that voters across the country voted in November for lower taxes and less government. While I suspect “less government” is just hopeful thinking on his part the will of the voters didn’t seem to be lower taxes in the Illinois governor race in which Pat Quinn narrowly beat State Sen. Bill Brady. Quinn said from the beginning he was going to raise taxes and still won the election. Taxes clearly weren’t the only item on the mind of Illinois voters.
Reis also seemed to take a lot of pleasure showing that Quinn only won three counties in Illinois (he actually won four). Holding up a map of Illinois and showing the number of counties Quinn won Reis attempted to show that most of Illinois was in favor of lower taxes. The problem is one of the four counties Quinn won was Cook which holds almost half of the population of Illinois according to Wikipedia (using 2000 Census data for the article).
Nobody really wants to pay more taxes. I know I don’t. I also know that the State of Illinoisis in a pretty bad financial crisis right now and the money to get out of the problem isn’t going to materialize out of thin air. The spending bill headed to Quinn’s desk has limits built in and if the state spends more in any given year the law says the income tax rates have to fall back to their current limit. That gives the state incentive to figure out how to be a bit more rational with spending. I hope it works, Illinois government certainly doesn’t have the best track record at the moment.