Ives outscores Rauner in tax group's policy survey
A Chicago-based taxpayer group has given incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner unprecedented high marks for his tax policies. His challenger in the primary, Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), scored even higher.
James Tobin, president of Taxpayers United of America, told the Illinois News Network that the 92 percent rating the nonpartisan group gave Rauner in its biennial survey is an “incredibly high score.” But overall it’s still been bad for taxpayers given the 32 percent increase in the personal income tax in July and the fact that the state is still bankrupt, Tobin said.
Ives as well as Reps. Peter Breen (R-Lombard) and Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) scored 100 percent in the group’s review of legislation impacting taxpayers.
Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), a candidate for governor, and his running mate, Rep. Litesa Wallace (D-Rockford), both earned scores of zero. Tobin called them “taxpayer enemies.”
In challenging Rauner, Ives cites not only his inability to stop the state’s fiscal deterioration but also his reversal on social issues. Rauner ran as a fiscal reformer, not a social one, but has signed legislation that provides public funding for elective abortions and a separate bill making Illinois a "sanctuary state." In an earlier Prairie State Wire story, Ives said that the governor and his wife, a self-proclaimed lifelong Democrat, have proven themselves to be “social justice warriors.”
The personal tax increase enacted through an override of a gubernatorial vote, moreover, could lead to even higher tax increases down the road, policy analysts say.
Ted Dabrowski, president of Wirepoints, said that it’s easier to implement a progressive tax since the tax hike has already been made.
“The total amount can be reapportioned via a progressive tax,” he said.
But it won’t be the break for the middle class, by transferring more of the tax burden on the rich, that the Democratic gubernatorial candidates promise.
In an analysis published in June by the Illinois Policy Institute, Dabrowski examined the progressive tax structures in surrounding states and how they affected middle-class earners.
“A look at taxes in Illinois’ neighboring states tells a different story from the one the candidates are selling,” he wrote. “Instead of soaking the rich, progressive taxes in neighboring states actually hurt middle-class workers, compared with what Illinoisans pay currently.”
“Four of the five states that surround Illinois tax incomes at progressively higher rates. And every one of those states punishes workers earning $50,000 – the starting salary for a Chicago public school teacher – when compared with Illinois.”