Friday, February 18, 2005

A veto over a 4% income tax? Bring it on!

Cal Skinner is thinking something similar in his column in the Leader here -- although Governor Blagojevich is pledging to keep his campaign promise (which is a good thing) and not raise the 3% state income tax by stating that he will veto any bill like HB 750 that would fund our poor schools with a 4 or 5 percent income tax (depending on how much tax relief you throw into the mix), that only means the magic number of representatives rises to 72 and senators to 36 to pass good policy.

If a veto-proof super-majority of legislators decide that our schools need more money, our wealthiest taxpayers who get their state taxes subsidized by the feds aren't paying enough and we can figure out the accountability piece so we're not just throwing new money into bad teachers or old pensions, then the Governor's signature is not a requirement.

Lots of Republican districts are poor. They benefit from a bill like HB 750. I believe there are more than 72 House districts that would benefit -- economically objectively -- from a move like HB 750. I believe that if legislators voted exclusively based on the economic interests of their districts, HB 750 would become law over Governor Blagojevich's veto. And to me, that means the opportunity for better lives for children in poor schools remains tantalizingly close to Third Reading.


Carl Nyberg said...

I'm not a big fan of HB 750.

It doesn't seem to do much for education except make more money available for salaries. Since the underlying problem is really health care it's not the right approach.

And it doesn't do enough to fix the property tax system either.

FightforJustice said...

HB 750 raises several $billion that won't go for education. Dan's not a political realist on this issue. Ask Lisa Dugan's last opponent (Pangle) what can happen to candidates who espouse a net $5 billion tax hike. The state Democrat party blasted Pangle as a big taxer. In light of Dugan's victory, how many Republicans do you suppose will stick their necks out for the biggest tax increase in state history?

Vasyl said...

I supported the tax swap when it was known as the Netsch Plan; when Edgar proposed it; and currently. But the political reality is that it will not pass without the Governor's active support.

Blagojevich in this case wants the best of both worlds. He would love to take credit for the extra money that flows into schools with the tax swap. He also wants to be able to veto a tax increase.

Everyone under the dome knows this about Blagojevich. They also suspect that our Governor would gladly use the tax increase as a bludgeon. The political reality is that legislators would be taking a vote that helps Blagojevich more than it helps any single legislator. So why subject oneself to political risk? (Especially when the attacks will come from the person who gains the most political benefit.)

The political will exists to support the tax swap and properly fund schools, if only the Governor was not so inclined to make gratuitous attacks against just about anyone.

Anonymous said...

Do you the Repugs will help Rod Blago with a tax increase let alone a veto-proof super-majority? Cal Skinner has better chance of reuniting with his in-laws!

Dan Johnson-Weinberger said...

I'm more interested in the revenue-neutral part of HB 750 than the extra money for schools. Lower income people pay too much and higher income people pay too little of the state budget. The extra money for schools ought to be tied to some sort of accountability reform, not property tax relief. FightFor is right that selling property tax relief and better schools through a 4 or 5 percent income tax rate won't fly in 2005 or 2006 -- but a revenue neutral shift like Will Davis' HB 155 presumably could because a super-majority of districts would benefit.