More taxes are easy; real reform is hard, policy pro argues
Illinois might be in awful shape, but raising taxes is not the way to make it healthy again, Ted Dabrowski, vice president of policy of the Illinois Policy Institute, told the Sangamon Sun recently.
The real solution is being ignored, at least partly because of partisanship, he said.
“Neither party is taking care of the taxpayer and the average resident,” Dabrowski said.
Dabrowski sees Republicans and Democrats being beholden to a “political elite” and special interests, which keeps Illinois from undertaking reforms rather than raising taxes. The newly passed state budget includes a 32 percent increase on personal and corporate income tax.
He also argued that Republicans go along with tax increases because they don't want to take on real spending reforms; both parties, he said, simply lack the political will to be more aggressive.
Dabrowski named pension costs as the predominant financial problem for the state, saying Illinois needs to “move pensions to 401(k)s” and stop accruing new pension liabilities.
“You have to do what you can constitutionally,” he said. “Our legislators are not willing to take on the unions -- it's easier to stuff taxpayers with bigger taxes.”
Dabrowski contends that states around Illinois have taken on collective-bargaining and prevailing wage issues and changed laws accordingly to take away some of the cost factors that put so much financial pressure on municipalities.
Property tax reform, he said, also must be addressed.
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