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Nation's Largest Taxpayer Group Calls on Illinois Policymakers to Reject Tax Hikes in Governor's Budget

by Pete Sepp / /

(Alexandria, Va.) -- The 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU), which has nearly 14,000 members in Illinois, has urged the State Legislature to reject tax increases proposed by Gov. Pat Quinn (D) in his recent budget address. The Governor called for a 50 percent hike in the personal income tax, an accompanying corporate income tax hike, increases in the excise tax on cigarettes, and fee increases on drivers.

"Under Rod Blagojevich, Illinois spent itself into a projected $11.6 billion deficit," NTU State Government Affairs Manager Joshua Culling said. "Rather than addressing the state's spending problem, his successor wants to hammer Illinois' working families with a massive tax hike in the middle of the worst recession of their lives."

Under the Governor's plan, the personal income tax would increase from 3 percent to 4.5 percent and the cigarette tax would be more than doubled to $1.98 per pack. The cost to register a vehicle would increase 25 percent, while the driver's license fee would double. "The last thing Illinois' mediocre economy needs is punitive tax hikes on consumers and small businesses," Culling continued.

Ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich opposed any increase in the personal income tax. However, the more recent absence of that veto threat led to speculation that politicians in Springfield would leap at the chance to raise the rate, and the proposal is now officially on the table.

"The Blagojevich era was marked by not only corruption, but rampant overspending," Culling concluded. "Gov. Quinn threatens to continue the failed policies of his predecessor, while rejecting Blagojevich's one pro-taxpayer conviction: opposition to an income tax hike. Overburdened Illinoisans will feel the effects of the economic crisis much more acutely under Gov. Quinn."

NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen organization founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. Note: For more information, visit www.ntu.org.

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