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Our View: Send message to lawmakers – no more tax hikes

Published: Friday, May 16, 2014 10:12 p.m. CDT

If you think you pay too much in taxes to the state of Illinois, it's time for you to do something about it.

If you think the tax-more-and-spend-more policy of Gov. Pat Quinn, House Speaker Michael Madigan and the Democrat-controlled General Assembly is ruining Illinois, it's time for your voice to be heard.

If you're tired of politicians saying one thing now only to do the exact opposite later, it's time we all stop putting up with it.

Many Democrats in the state House and Senate want to make permanent a 67-percent income tax increase that was promised to be "temporary" when it was foisted on taxpayers by a lame-duck General Assembly in January 2011.

With not a single Republican vote, Quinn and the Democratic Legislature essentially reached into our collective wallets and snatched another week's pay from all working Illinoisans.

At the time, Democratic lawmakers said the "temporary" increase was needed during a difficult fiscal time to help pay down the state's growing pile of unpaid bills.

That's Lie No. 1.

That "temporary" tax increase is expected to raise more than $31 billion in additional revenue, yet the state still has a backlog of more than $7 billion in unpaid bills. Most of that additional money has gone to Illinois' unsustainable pension funds.

Lie No. 2 is the promise that the income tax increase was only "temporary."

Quinn's 2014-2015 fiscal budget calls for the increase to become permanent. Because the 2011 law contained language that sunsets most of the tax increase on Jan. 1, 2015, lawmakers must vote again to make it permanent.

Democratic Illinois Senate President John Cullerton says he already has the votes in his chamber.

But the vote should be a lot closer in the House, where Democrats hold a 71-seat supermajority. Madigan needs just 60 votes to send the permanent increase on to Quinn.

Before we allow this to happen, we need our voices to be heard.

We ask our readers to call your lawmakers and demand that they stop taking more from the state's hard-working taxpayers.

Tell them that you're tired of having more of your money wasted on Quinn's and Madigan's cronies. Tell them you're tired that state government continues to balloon while your own personal finances either shrink or stay stagnant.

Tell them enough is enough.

You'll likely get voicemails today, so call them back on Monday. Call them on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, and on Thursday and Friday.

Send a message that's loud and clear: Live within your means. No more tax increases.

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