ITEF Comment Vol. X Issue 2

Politicians Still Scamming Illinois Taxpayers With “Revenue Crisis”Lie

No deception propagated by Illinois politicians and the sympathetic press is so injurious to Illinois taxpayers, or so blatantly untrue, as the long-running “revenue crisis” lie.

ITEF has begun examining the revenue records of the Comptroller’s office for the first 10 months of Fiscal year 2004, ending April 30, 2004, and comparing them to the FY03 revenue records from June 1, 2002, through April 30, 2003. Our findings are astonishing.

After all of the political panic about 2004’s phony “budget crisis,” and the continuing talk of an ongoing “revenue crisis,” here’s what the numbers actually say:

Total state revenue for the first 10 months of FY2004 is up 7.2% — more than 3 times the 2.3% rate of inflation — or more than $3 billion. That doesn’t include any of the $36 billion in revenue that was double-counted by the state in “dummy accounts” or transfers.

Major state tax revenue is up across the board. For example, in the first 10 months of FY2004, state income tax revenue has increased nearly 11%, or over $850 million. Taken together, the six largest tax-revenue categories are up 9% or $1.7 billion.

Tax revenue from the Federal government is up a whopping $1.9 billion, or almost 23%.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s claim of a $1.7 billion “revenue shortfall” for FY2005 has echoed in the media and the mouths of the majority of politicians and bureaucrats around the state as proof that the state must increase taxes. Clearly, according to the Illinois Comptroller’s own numbers, the State of Illinois should have plenty of money to do whatever it needs to do without any tax hikes whatsoever.

The only “crisis” in Illinois government today is not the phony “revenue crisis,” but an ongoing Overspending Crisis.
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