TUA Releases 15th Tax Survey of Illinois General Assembly
CHICAGO—Taxpayers United of America (TUA), one of the largest taxpayer organizations in the nation, has released its 15th biennial non-partisan Tax Survey of the Illinois General Assembly, revealing the tax and spending records of every member of the 97th General Assembly from January 2011 to January 2013.
“The 97th General Assembly accomplished little to improve the tax landscape for Illinois residents,” said TUA President Jim Tobin. “The most notable piece of legislation to come out of this group was SB3314, introduced by St. Sen. Don Harmon (D-39 Oak Park), which was the direct result of the lawsuits filed by TUA against Oak Park D-97 and Wilmette D-39 school districts for using ballot language that purposely mislead taxpayers by understating by 300%, the property tax increase resulting from passage of a referendum. SB3314 makes this practice of duping voters illegal.”
“Unfortunately, the real legacy of the 97th General Assembly is the lack of any government pension reform,” said Tobin. “While lawmakers nickel-and-dime Illinois taxpayers with increased license plate taxes and numerous speed and red light cameras, they failed to reform the problem that is bankrupting the state and causing residents to flee in droves.”
“Last year, 74,000 productive citizens fled Illinois to states with lower taxes.”
The tax survey lists the state’s Taxpayers’ Friends and Taxpayers’ Enemies. “Regrettably, there are many more taxpayers’ enemies than taxpayers’ friends,” said Tobin. “And we have listed all from both lists.”
“The scoring methodology of our surveys has remained unchanged since we published our first non partisan Tax Survey of the 83rd General Assembly in 1983. All significant tax-increase and tax-cut bills are included in the Survey, as well as certain spending bills.”
“A state lawmaker achieves a perfect score if he or she votes for each tax cut and against each of the tax-increase and spending bills included in the survey. Such a lawmaker is a friend of taxpayers and received a perfect score of 100%. On the other hand, a lawmaker who votes against tax cuts and for every tax-increase and spending bill included in this survey receives a score of 0. He or she is an enemy of taxpayers.”
“There are 5 taxpayers’ friends in the Illinois House, all Republicans, and, amazingly, not one taxpayers’ friend in the Illinois Senate.”
“In the Illinois House, taxpayers’ enemies include Lisa M. Dugan (D-79 Kankakee), Daniel V. Beiser (D-111 Alton), and Frank J. Mautino (D-76 Spring Valley).”
“The Illinois Senate list of taxpayers’ enemies consists of 4 Republicans and 13 Democrats. Included are Joseph T. Meeks (D-15 Calumet City), with the worst tax score in the entire Illinois General Assembly, as well as Mike Jacobs (D-36 Moline), Gary Forby (D-59 Benton), Michael W. Frerichs (D-52 Champaign) and David Koehler (D-46 Peoria).
“Illinois Gov. Patrick J. Quinn (D) had a failing score of 43%. In addition, in the previous session, he championed and signed into law the huge, back-breaking 67% increase in the state personal income tax, all the money of which was pumped into the unsustainable, lavish, gold-plated pension funds of retired government employees.”