The following is cross-posted at www.fiscalaccountability.org.
Illinois is one of four states to mark Cost of Government Day, the day when Illinoisans are done paying off their share of the total spending and regulatory burdens imposed by government at all levels, on August 12, which is also the national average.
For Illinoisans, this means that they had to work 224 days just to pay for the total cost of government. While workers in Hawaii, Utah, and Wisconsin, had to work just as long, only residents in 11 states will have to work longer until their Cost of Government Day finally arrives.
Illinoisans are also saddled with a cumulative tax increase of $8.5 billion from FY2003-FY2009, a period during which the state has raised taxes more than 36 other states. That amounts to a tax increase of $657.90 for every man, woman and child in Illinois over the last seven years.
And if you thought that tax-and-spenders would end their old ways at a time when taxpayers are already struggling to make ends meet as they have been in recent months, think again. In spite of tax-hike-free budget alternatives being put forth by third-party groups like the Alliance for Growth and the Illinois Policy Institute, the legislature passed a tax increase package to the tune $600 million a year to fund their $31 billion new capital plan.
Had Gov. Blagojevich’s successor Gov. Pat Quinn gotten his way, individual and corporate taxes would have increased by 50 percent – from 3 to 4.5 percent for individuals, and from 4.8 to 7.2 percent for corporations. So far, this hasn’t passed, but Illinois taxpayers better hold on to their wallets because there will be a special session in the fall. At this point, it is hard to tell how exactly Illinois will rank next year when it comes to Cost of Government Day, but at this rate, an improvement in rank is not in the cards.
(photo by Stuck in Customs)