Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois wants to increase income taxes, however doesn’t want to anger constituents before the primary for the gubernatorial race. He also understands the challenge lawmakers would face in their run for reelection after voting for a tax increase. Therefore, he will wait until after the February 2nd primary to push for an income tax increase vote.
In addition, Quinn knows that after January 1st income tax increases only require a simple majority in both houses. When answering a question about a possible income tax increase Quinn said, “You need three-fifths of both houses to vote for an income tax increase. After the first of the year, that’ll go down to a simple majority, so it’ll probably be revisited then."
Quinn also plans on meeting with leaders in the hopes of renewing a push this fall for a major cigarette tax increase. Quinn wants to double the state cigarette tax, from 98 cents a pack now to $1.98 per pack.
Revenue from the tax increase would go to funding college scholarships. If student scholarships are considered an essential service, lawmakers and the governor can cut waste and find money elsewhere, rather than taking more from the pockets of hardworking Illinoisans. In addition, cigarette taxes are a volatile source of revenue. Government increases the cigarette tax to raise revenue, yet at the same time it does so to reduce consumption of something it considers unhealthy. Individuals either decide to kick the habit or simply purchase tobacco in other states to avoid the high tax. As a result, tax revenue decreases leaving an under funded program. In the end, Illinoisans will be facing two large tax increases if both of these proposals pass the legislature.
Click here to see ATR’s press release opposing Gov. Quinn’s proposal calling for a $1.00 per pack tax increase on cigarettes.