May 18, 2005

Illinois "Tax Swap" legislation at a glace

The Trib has an informative interactive gizmo for calculating, based on average income for your zip code, what your new tax bill would be if the proposed "tax swap" legislation is adopted in Illinois.

This measure sounds practical and desirable at first glance. As the Trib puts it: "State lawmakers are considering a $5.8 billion tax reform plan that would increase the income tax rate from 3 percent to 5 percent, and reduce school property taxes by about 30 percent.

The idea is to bolster aid to public schools while lessening reliance on local property taxes that create disparities between wealthy and poor districts. If the tax reforms are approved, the basic state school aid for 2006-07 would rise significantly — from $4,964 per pupil to $6,100"

But the results are not pretty. Take a look and plug in your zip code, or follow their instructions for how to calculate how this would impact your individual taxes.

Thanks to alert reader Cal Skinner for pointing me to this site.


At 5/18/2005 6:25 PM, Blogger dinosaurdemo said...

I was reading in one of the local newspapers that new State Sen. Mike Jacobs supports that tax-swap for schools and someone said that's a 66% income tax increase.

Isn't that a little bit risky for a new guy who has just been appointed to support a 66% increase in the income tax.

There has to be a property tax cut as part of Mike Jacobs plan, doesn't there? I sure hope so!!

Does anyone know out there?

The group, RENEW ILLINOIS, is calling this a 66% increase in our personal income tax rate.


At 5/19/2005 8:40 AM, Blogger hud50 said...

the income tax will go up from 3 to 5%. Property taxes would go down, partially offsetting the income tax increase. I'm for it. As you know, the increase in revenue will be used to get some fair distribution of dollars to our schools. I'm not sure how many who read this blog have children in area schools, or for that matter are very far removed from public school themselves, but it is much needed. We'll be able to pay the teachers better, upgrade facilities, and get smaller class sizes for all Illinois communities. There is too much of a disparity between middle and lower class illinois communities and those rich suburbs in dupage county.

At 5/19/2005 2:06 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I'm with you on this Hud. The goals of this process are entirely laudable.

As I read more about the issue, it appears that the disparity between how much property taxes would be raised among various areas of the state is directly linked to how much money that area already gets from the state for education.

This is why the collar counties, which are currently the highest receipients of state education dollars, will see their property tax rates raised the least, while some areas downstate which currently get relatively little state money will see pretty shocking increases in their property tax.

But it's been observed that the Tribune and the article referenced in this post has almost assuredly killed any chance for this proposal to pass.

I'm no fan of ever increasing taxes, by any means, but I feel that the Republican inspired mind-set where most people feel justified in expecting their taxes to NEVER go up, no matter what the purpose, even to the point where they loudly whine and scream if their taxes aren't actually lowered is largely to blame.

The ground has shifted to the point where all politicians believe that to support ANY tax increase, for any purpose, is political death.

This of course is just what Grover Norquist and others wanted all along. Once that irrational mindset is implanted, it ensures that the right's goal of starving government to death is in place and working. It will lead to the elimination of most of the New Deal, most of the social safety net, and hundreds of other government programs designed to provide a better quality of life for all.

The cold hard fact remains that nothing comes for free, and that all the reckless and ill-conceived tax give-aways to the upper class that Bush has managed to pass are only shifting the burden to states and municipalities.

Remember that measely tax break you got John Q. Citizen? The one that got you to fall in love with Bush? Well, surprise, surprise, you're going to pay that and much more now as a result.

I only hope that the Dems can make this connection known more widely.

How the right has convinced the country that we can spend record amounts of money while making enormous and radical slashes in government revenue sources and that it's fine to refuse to fund your own government while screaming if the government doesn't give you what you expect, is nothing short of amazing.

Here's the logic: The government is the problem, so they shouldn't get any tax money. The government is thus underfunded severely and services suffer. Then the public becomes outraged and the right points to these failures as further evidence of why government is "inefficient" and should be further denied funding.

What a perfect little scam. Except it's reasoning is totally deceptive and insane.

At 5/19/2005 2:37 PM, Blogger diehard said...

I will confess my ignorance up front. What stop gap measure is there that home rule cities will not wait a year after this "tax swap" passes and go ahead and raise property taxes anyway? The cities are not exactly flush with money.


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