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."
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.