Survey: Illinois must spend less, not tax more
Illinois needs to cut back on spending and not even think about raising taxes, which are already too high, a majority of state residents said in a recent survey.
Fabrizio, Lee & Associates of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, conducted the statewide poll of 600 registered Illinois voters from February 28 through March 1.
A majority of respondents -- 64 percent -- described themselves as moderate or liberal, and 42 percent said they were Democrats.
Overall, more than eight out of 10 respondents (81 percent) said the Land of Lincoln is generally on the "wrong track." Approximately the same proportion -- 80 percent -- expressed support for implementing spending reductions as a way to balance Illinois’ budget.
Illinois has not had a full budget in place for nearly two years.
The survey organization asked respondents what they thought of their elected officials' spending habits. More than half -- 57 percent -- said state government is spending too much, while 15 percent said the amount is about right. Of the remainder, 21 percent said the state needs to spend more, while 7 percent said they were uncertain or did not answer.
Respondents were also asked to reply to this statement: “Illinois state lawmakers should pass major structural reforms before passing any tax increase.” Respondents overwhelmingly approved, with 79 agreeing to some extent and 14 percent disagreeing (either “somewhat” or “strongly” in both cases), and 7 percent uncertain or failing to indicate.
Significantly, only 7 percent of respondents said they were in favor of Illinois raising taxes without attempting to cut spending at all. More than half said spending cuts should be the only mechanism used to resolve the deficit.
Regarding specific types of taxes, 60 percent considered state income taxes as too high, and 70 percent deemed property taxes too high. Two percent opined that property taxes were too low.
“The poll results are clear,” John Tillman, CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute, said. “Illinoisans from both sides of the political aisle are fed up with tax increases and do-nothing legislation sold to them as ‘reform.’ They know state government spends more than it should, and they feel the pain of high income and property taxes.”
Regarding the 2018 general election, when constituents will select a governor and state legislators, just over three-quarters (76 percent) confirmed that they definitely plan to vote, 14 percent said they would “probably” vote, 5 percent said the chances of their voting was “50/50,” and 1 percent said they would definitely not vote, were uncertain, or failed to answer.
Approximately two-thirds (68 percent) of the respondents live in the greater Chicago DMA (designated market area), including Cook County and the surrounding counties of DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will. The other third live in the downstate area.