Edgar: Tax Hike Was Only First Step

ELMHURST, Ill. (CBS/WBBM) — While many of his fellow Republicans are denouncing the hastily-passed Illinois state income tax increase, former governor Jim Edgar supports it.

But as WBBM Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports, Edgar says the tax hike is only the first step in fixing Illinois’ financial mess.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports

Edgar, who served two terms as governor from 1991 to 1999, says it took courage for Democratic lawmakers to approve the tax hike in the final hours of the lame-duck General Assembly.

The Daily Herald reports Edgar recently told a forum at Elmhurst College that now, together with Republicans, the Democrats have to muster the courage to put the state on a fiscal diet.

He says such a “diet” will require hard cuts to Medicaid and even the “sacred cow,” education.

He told the crowd, “If we’re going to get out of this mess, we’re all going to have to swallow and do some things we don’t want.”

He says Gov. Pat Quinn has to take the lead in cutting spending.

Under the new law, the state’s personal income tax rate has gone up from 3 percent to 5 percent. In real numbers, if your gross income is $50,000 a year, your state income taxes will rise from $1,500 to $2,500 a year.

The hike boosted the corporate income tax rate by nearly 50 percent, from 4.8 percent to 7 percent. In addition to the corporate income tax, many businesses in Illinois pay a “Personal Property Replacement Tax” of 2.5 percent of income, bumping their corporate tax rate to 9.5 percent.

Backers hope the tax hike will help plug a $15 billion budget hole.

  • Rita

    The hole is only to get bigger as businesses exit the state and new ones don’t even consider coming.
    Individuals will leave the state, as well.
    The entire burden of dealing with the state’s financial crisis has been placed on citizens and businesses. The government has done nothing to eliminate waste and identify efficiency programs.

  • nilo

    you are right rita. cleaning up should start where it begins. uncontrollable.

  • southside

    Gee, I wonder why an ex-politician who draws a state pension would endorse a tax increase.

  • Robert

    Business as usual. Keep taxing without solving the problem.
    Learn what a budget really is and stick to it. You can’t spend what you dont have.

    Next they will cut education. Just keep destroying our future.

  • jerry schoonover

    we left illinois about 10yrs ago because there property taxes were getting to high.i feel for the tax payers.the yahoo’s in springfield need to look at them selves and what the state is paying out in pension money to ex government workers.government pensions are to high and the good people of the state are paying for it.get rid of the waste springfield and start looking out for the people that are paying you.

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  • bob

    Of course he supports it – he has a state pension. Another crook heard from.

  • chris

    We need more politicians like Edgar. He could just throw stones and be political but he is speaking an unpopular truth. I have a business in Illinois, and the taxes absolutely suck, but right now we have suck it up and pay our bills! Let Ryan and Blago rot in jail. Then we need to continue to vote out corrupt leaders. Lets give these guys a chance. We’ll suck it up in the short term… Go out and CUT COSTS, just like we are forced to do to make up for past mismanagement.




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