Saturday, December 18, 2004

Winkel puts forward a plan to get schools out of the red

State Senator Rick Winkel (R-Urbana) has put forward his plan: raise the state's 3% income tax to 4.75% and raise the state's corporate income tax from 4.8 to 7.6%. With that extra five billion dollars, send half to education and half to property taxpayers as a rebate for 20% of their elementary and secondary education bill.

Kate Clements of the News-Gazette has the story here.

Governor Blagojevich is opposed, but so what?

Senator Del Valle's reaction is insightful. Here's a clip from the article:

Senate Education Chairman Miguel del Valle, D-Chicago, admitted that he would need to obtain a veto-proof majority to reform education funding without Blagojevich's backing, but he was willing to work to build that consensus.

"Will we succeed? I don't know," del Valle said. "Do we have to try? Of course we do. If we don't make an honest attempt, not political posturing and political maneuvering, but an honest attempt to change the way we fund education, then we are being totally irresponsible as a General Assembly."

He characterized the governor and others who have ruled out increasing property taxes to fix the school funding crisis as being in "total avoidance" mode.

"We must start out with an acceptance of the fact that change is needed, and some people still don't want to come to grips with that fact," del Valle said. "It is impossible to reduce the reliance on local property taxes without increasing the state income tax; there is no other way to do it."

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So every legislator and Governor Blagojevich know this -- schools need more money, the local property tax is too high and the only real revenue source is the state income tax.

What percentage of the electorate knows this? I'd guess somewhere close to a third.

Congratulations to Rick Winkel. Let's get some co-sponsors for his bill when he files it in January. Call your state senator and tell them to get on board.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good thing the conservative voters of the state have the Republican Party, the party of small government, to vote for. Why, if the citizens of Champaign County had sent a Democrat to Springfield, we might be seeing a proposal to increase taxes to 5%, 10%, or even 110%! When will those irresponsible tax-and-spenders learn?

-N. Y. Krause

FightforJustice said...

Professor Paul Green predicted during a speech last week that there would not be an income tax increase until 2007. He further predicted that the 2006 gubernatorial candidates would both deny they will raise taxes after the election, a la Big Jim Thompson.

Dan Johnson-Weinberger said...

It's hard to make a policy argument for the local property tax to fund schools. That perpetuates inequality of opportunity. I hope Paul Green is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Back in 1776, Adam Smith argued that, when something must be funded by taxation, it should at least be paid for by taxes that tax most nearly the same people who actually use the good or service in question. That's the argument.

-N. Y. Krause

FightforJustice said...

The state has been reducing the inequality of funding by giving more state aid to poorer districts. In theory, that state aid could be increased and inequality reduced, while still relying upon property taxes for the property-rich districts.

Amy Allen said...

I concur with your estimation of Winkel's bill,sir. Winkel is also the co chair of the subcommmitte on NCLB, with Dan Cronin.
Amy Allen
Obiter Dictum Blog
www.obiterdictumblog.blogspot.com

FightforJustice said...

An 58% hike in the state income tax is a turkey that ain't gonna fly in the GA in 2005. Remember that it would take a 3/5ths majority in both houses to override the Governor's veto. And that assumes that The Speaker would go along with it while G-Rod poses as the taxpayers' best friend. I don't think so.

Dan Johnson-Weinberger said...

The policy hole in Adam Smith's argument is that people in poorer areas have to tax themselves at a higher rate to finance their schools (and end up with an inferior product) while people in wealthier areas tax themselves at a lower rate to finance their schools and end up with a superior product. That's not right. I'm not sure Adam Smith would support the Illinois mix of state and local funds for our schools.