MEDIA CONTACT: Diana Rickert
Diana@IllinoisPolicy.org or (312) 607-4977
Radogno, Cross and Illinois Policy Institute: IL tax hike a “failure”
Unemployment up, businesses fleeing and bills stacking up
CHICAGO (Jan. 12, 2012) — In the year since Illinois enacted record tax increases, the state's unemployment numbers have worsened, businesses have fled the state and the backlog of bills remains in the billions. Each of these and other economic indicators point to a conclusion at which most of the public has already arrived: the January 2011 tax hikes failed to fix Illinois, and it’s time for repeal.
“A year ago, a policy choice was made to implement a $7 billion tax hike with the promise that it would help solve Illinois' fiscal problems," said John Tillman, CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute. "The tax hike was a failure and the people of Illinois know it. Illinois is not creating enough jobs, and the state budget is still a mess – as evidenced by the recent downgrade from Moody's. It's time to repeal the tax hike and hold accountable the politicians who enacted the tax increase."
Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno and House Republican Leader Tom Cross, who opposed the tax increases, joined Tillman at a Thursday press conference in Chicago. They noted that the failure to enact sound fiscal policy is costing Illinois jobs and families – the very families who are now paying an average of $1,000 more a year in Illinois taxes.
Standing next to $1,000 worth of canned goods, diapers, infant formula, household supplies and groceries that could feed an Illinois family for weeks, Radogno said: “Over the vocal objections of Republicans in both chambers, they passed a tax increase that took one week’s pay out of the pockets of Illinois residents. That $1,000 is money that working families no longer have to spend on groceries, gas, clothes and a roof over their heads. Yet the monumental problems of state government remain.”
Cross added: “The majority party made many promises that its giant tax increase would solve the state's budget problems. That has not been the case. As we said a year ago, and we continue to say now, we must structurally change the way we do business in Illinois with strong public employee pension reform and Medicaid reforms that stabilize our budget and help create a better jobs climate.”
The poll commissioned by the Institute shows public opposition to tax increases is strong. Sixty-eight percent of likely voters oppose the tax increase, while only 5 percent of likely voters are “very confident” the revenue from the tax hike was used responsibly by state government. The poll also showed strong public support for the immediate repeal or scheduled expiration of the tax hike.
For bookings or interviews, contact:
Illinois Policy Institute media liaison Diana Rickert (312) 607-4977
Leader Cross spokesperson Sara Wojcicki Jimenez (217) 381-6467
Leader Radogno spokesperson Patty Schuh (217) 725-3468