NTUI Asks Gov. Blagojevich To Honor Campaign Pledge And Veto New $30 Million State Tax

CHICAGO-The president of Illinois’ largest taxpayer organization asked Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) to veto Senate Bill 75, which would create a new $30 million tax on the recording of any real estate document, and would create a new bureaucracy to administer the granting of subsidies to landlords purportedly to help low-income housing. The new bureaucracy also would provide subsidies to developers of “affordable” rental housing.

In a letter faxed to Gov. Blagojevich yesterday, Jim Tobin, President of National Taxpayers United of Illinois (NTUI), stated, “In 2002 you stated you would not raise taxes, and that you were opposed to tax and fee increases in any kind. Once again Illinois taxpayers are looking to you to protect them from such increases, as the House and Senate approved a new $30 million tax that would apply to documents involved in the transfer of real estate.”

“The opportunities for corruption and for payoffs to politically-connected developers are obvious,” Tobin added.

“There is no ‘revenue crisis’ in Illinois,” wrote Tobin. “Tax revenue for the State of Illinois has risen 4½ times the rate of inflation compared to FY2003. Total state revenue for FY2004 is up 10.5% — 4½ times the 2.3% rate of inflation — or about $5.2 billion. This includes a $924 million increase in state income-tax revenue and a $590 million state sales-tax revenue increase.

Concluded Tobin: “The way to make housing affordable is to cut the state income tax 50 percent and reduce wasteful spending. This would leave more money in the pockets of low-income taxpayers and would enable them to afford better housing.”

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