All five candidates running for the state house district that includes Evanston say Illinois has to increase its income tax if it’s going to solve its budget crisis.

Here’s what three of the five had to say on the issue.

The candidates, speaking Sunday at a debate sponsored by the Democratic Party of Evanston and the New Trier Democratic Organization, didn’t specify how high an increase in the state’s 3 percent income tax rate they’d support. But in earlier interviews some of them have supported an increase to 5 percent, while others argued for a smaller hike.

Over three hundred people crowded the auditorium at Kingsley Elementary School for the debate.

No Republicans filed for the house seat, so whoever wins the Feb. 2 primary is almost assured of election in the fall.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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22 Comments

  1. Hands off
    Giving this state, this county or this city a single additional penny is not an option. None of these entities are worthy of my trust. If you want to earn my trust it’s pretty simple. Cut spending and end corruption. Then we can talk.

  2. tell’m andrew
    Bravo Andrew—not even one more stinking single cent!—put up or shut up—prove first your willing to cut ignorant spending and corruption.

  3. Some candidates have
    Some candidates have enthusiastically endorsed income tax increases. I have not. I have consistently taken the position that I would not consider any income tax increase, let alone endorse one, unless and until all wasteful spending is identified and eliminated. Although I have not categorically ruled out an increase,I have said that I would consider a small, temporary increase, if absolutely necessary, but only if the entire budget was vetted and reduced first.

    1. Cut Spending
      There is no need to increase taxes if we cut spending. The democrats have a habit of spending-spending. We are taxed out.

      We need Republicans who know how to cut spending. Go GOP!!!

      1. excessive spending knows no party lines
        Yes, yes, we know that Republicans do not have a history of spending far beyond our means. *wink,wink. nudge,nudge. say no more*

        Let’s get past the dogma of party propaganda and tired old stereotypes. Every politician from every party has the ability to spend beyond their means, and history has shown us that they compulsively do so. When ‘we the people’ allow them to go unchecked and unaccountable for immature and reckless behavior, then we ultimately have our collective selves to blame.

        In these times of personal spending beyond means (explosive CC debt) it is not surprising really that the masses turn a blind eye to excessive government spending. It has, unfortunately, become the accepted norm.

        1. Hmm.. You Think Parties Would Learn
          While I agree with Racer X, I guess my only comment is this…

          You think the Democrats would learn the perils of excessive spending, particularly in the last 10 months. But no, ideology took over with the liberal orgy of 40 years of entitlement wishes coming to fruition with the “stimulus” bill.

          Oh, lets not forget HealthCare Reform, and legal rights for terrorists, etc.

          Again – in all cases, ideology overrides common sense, and as such lives are placed in danger, our country is bankrupted and taxes will rise.

          Shame on the Dems. Shame on the Reps. Shame on everyone.

          1. Legal rights for terrorist?
            “Oh, lets not forget HealthCare Reform, and legal rights for terrorists, etc… Again – in all cases, ideology overrides common sense,”

            Legal rights for terrorists is a case of ideology overriding common sense? How so?

            If these people have committed crimes (and clearly some have), they should be tried under the law, with a right to a defense, and sentenced accordingly…just like Rush Limbaugh got when he was caught with his drug problem.

          2. How So?
            First, they should be tried as enemy combatents in a military court, not with our legal system since they actively waged an act of war on our country, again, remember 9/11?

            Second, why the altered policy for these terrorists. Where other terrorists (USS Cole bombers) not tried in military courts, etc? Why the departure?

            Third, they are not residents of this country and therefore should not be afforded the legal system and rights we enjoy, as citizens of this country.

            Fourth, this poses as a security risk to our country and a platform for these terrorists to communicate their message of gihad, hatred and inspiration to other terrorist boddies.

            Fifth, this will be a media fiasco and a costly burden on a state that is already bankrupt ($75 million estimated costs for security to NYC).

            Sixth, this is an ideological move made by Holder, at the urging of Obama to provide U.S. legal entitlements, defining this as “justice”, to these terrorists in a move to perhaps smear the prior administration.

            And seventh, and in your words – simply do not hold the trial in NYC, on American soil, under the American legal system, or…

            …NIMBY, NOT IN MY BACKYARD!

            I respectifully disagree with you.

          3. Dan, I agree with you
            Dan, I agree with you wholeheartedly and believe that there are many more who just cannot understand the misplaced idea of entitlement that is being strewn everywhere.

          4. Thanks!
            Thanks for your agreement and supportive words! Good to see I am not the only one with these thoughts.

          5. “Second, why the altered
            “Second, why the altered policy for these terrorists. Where other terrorists (USS Cole bombers) not tried in military courts, etc? Why the departure”

            The attack on the Cole was an attack on military targets, not in the United States. The 9/11 attacks were directed at civilian targets within the United States. This really should be in the hands of the Manhattan District Attorney – although hijacking a plane makes it a federal crime, and the conspiracy did cross state lines.

            “Third, they are not residents of this country and therefore should not be afforded the legal system and rights we enjoy, as citizens of this country.”

            If they committed a crime in our country, they should be tried under our laws, and given the same legal protections as any defendant.

            “Fourth, this poses as a security risk to our country and a platform for these terrorists to communicate their message of gihad, hatred and inspiration to other terrorist boddies.”

            What security risk? The defendants are under constant guard. Are you saying that terrorists are going to attack us if we have civil trials in New York, but not if we have military tribunals in Guantanamo? So we should give in to the terrorists?

            Senator Kyl has noted that Khaled Sheikh Mohammed wants to plead guilty in a military tribunal. Are we going to give KSM what he wants?

            “Fifth, this will be a media fiasco and a costly burden on a state that is already bankrupt ($75 million estimated costs for security to NYC).”

            We could save a lot of money by just eliminating the justice system altogether, I suppose.

    2. why not tax gasoline
      Why is nobody talking about bringing back the tax on gas in Illinois? Using some of it for mass transit, and some either general revenues or infrastructure (roads). This would be good policy in any economic climate.

  4. These things I know
    There are three things in life that are certain
    1)death
    2)taxes
    3)Democrats taxing us to death

  5. And how do you pay for the multitude of public services?
    If we don’t raise taxes until government is “perfect” with its spending, we will never raise taxes. Have you noticed that the Evanston Public Library is having to trim its hours?

    How many of you can list the public services, from which you personally benefit, that are supported with taxes? Yes, some politicians are corrupt, but most are not.

    I would rather have qualified elected people making informed decisions than leave it up to the ignorant masses. It is the quaint common folk who have said they don’t want government interfering with their Medicare, totally unaware that Medicare IS a government program.

    And those people who think Social Security is a waste don’t remember or never knew that Social Security is what keeps millions of poor older adults out of poverty.

    Taxes are not necessarily bad, and Illinois’ taxes are shamefully low, relative to other states in the US. Uninformed members of the public who think they know what they are talking about are very scary.

    1. Social Security
      Remember even Roosevelt intended S.S. as a ‘bare minimum’—a very very small amount.
      Study after study has shown people plan for S.S. to take care of them–totally–in retirement and that they don’t and don’t think they need to save because it will take care of them.
      In a similar way, I don’t know how many vocal ‘liberals’ have told me they don’t give to charity since their taxes go for such programs and if not sufficient taxes can be raised.

    2. IL taxes
      IL taxes referred to as shamefully low is one bold statement—A more accurate picture here might be we go more local (Cook County) to see what we pay for the right to reside in Evanston.

      Cook County sales tax at 10.25 percent is the highest in the nation.

      IL property taxes rank 7th highest in the nation—North suburban cook county property taxes amongst the highest in the nation—Most firms long ago ran away to excape high taxes—we lose tax base and who knows how many jobs?

      IL gas tax ranks 6th highest in the nation.

      Cook County sin tax (cig’s and booze) is the highest in the nation—(more lost revenue–buyers get their smokes on line or drive to another county)

      You might be right about me personally, but I can assure you my wallet is a highly well informed member of the public

      1. Taxes
        John,

        I could not agree more about taxes. The real issue is not that they are too high or too low, but what is the benefit to cost ratio that we receive for those taxes.

        Our high sales taxes impact lower income people more than the middle or upper middle and they drive people out of the area to buy elsewhere or on line. If the sales tax is higher than the cost of gasoline and the opportunity cost of the time, one goes to where the tax is lower. None of that helps tax revenue.

        For a “green” city we seem to be rather tolerant of wasting a precious resource — money. We should remember that money is also a scarce resource.

        Benefit to cost seems to be an unknown variable in this town. Our Darwin Finance Award city fathers push residential development instead of business and commercial development, which provide more revenue per tax parcel than residential (which barely breaks even). Business and commercial property also has the potential of creating jobs.

        Duh?

      2. Illinois ranking on income tax
        My “bold statement” was based on data, rather than my opinion. For example: Illinois’ State/Local Tax Burden Below National Average Estimated at 9.3% of income, Illinois’ state/local tax burden ranks 30th highest nationally, below the national average of 9.7%. Illinois taxpayers pay $4,346 per capita in state and local taxes.

        Illinois’ personal income tax system consists of a flat 3% rate on federal adjusted gross income. That rate is the lowest among states that levy individual income taxes. Illinois’ 2006 individual income tax collections were $677 per person, which ranked 33rd highest nationally.

        see http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/topic/26.html for more information

    3. Fancy Library Sidewalks–more unjustified spending
      The ill-thought brick sidewalks [and designs that most people did not even notice] have been falling apart for years, cost merchants with lost business/failure when installed—and probably legal/medical costs to the city from falls due to warping, brick deterioration, etc..
      Now they fix fix the library plaza and walks. But what do they do ? They retain bricks on the side [to cause same old problems] and now I hear will carve poems in the bricks [small red or large black?]. Once again the Council thinks they have money to spend on what they consider ‘art.’ What will they come up with to fix the walks in front of McManus [Kellogg dorm north of EPL], north side of Burger-King and so many other areas. Will the tooth-fairy bless the Council with free money–or will the Council come to it senses and fix things ‘right’ instead of to conform to their concept of ‘art’ ?

      1. Fancy Sidewalks – worth it, and they’re doing it right this time
        The reason the “ill-thought brick sidewalks have been falling apart for years” is because the city tried to cut costs during the original construction by installing pavers on poorly constructed sand bases instead of on concrete. The pavers settled unevenly and became tripping hazards.

        The new sidewalk going in around the library, and hopefully every new sidewalk in downtown, will have brick on top of a concrete base in some areas, with the rest being all concrete. Concrete walks aren’t as fancy, but they’ll last a lot longer and not become tripping hazards, also the inclusion of some brick still looks great and streetscape projects like this are worth every penny in my opinion.

        Also, perhaps you missed the new streetscape/road alignment on Maple avenue near the movie theaters? The sidewalks got much bigger (and again, a lot more concrete instead of all brick), which allows more room for pedestrians and trees. Perfect solution, good job Evanston!

        1. Brick sidewalk conceit
          Did you perhaps miss the point? I think Anonymous was saying the city wouldn’t be needing to put in concrete sidewalks now if the decision-makers hadn’t been so high-flown in going for the brick conceit several years ago. Hence the current concern about poetry superfluously being added to the reconfigured bricks. More practicality, less ‘art’ would ease the budget and also citizens’ fears that city management doesn’t know what it’s doing. Evanston needs to be real, never mind so special, which isn’t really working for us.

  6. Council Elitism
    Evanston’s budget is in trouble—no question about that. Comments on EvanstonNow may concern what some think ‘small’ items but they mount up and give us insight into how the Council makes big decisions that may bankrupt the city.
    I assume the Council and arts groups want residents to think they ‘get it’ and understand the value of the schlock art and poems in bricks that the rest of us just don’t ‘get.’ They probably have the ‘Great Books’ and ‘Harvard Classics’ on their bookshelves [never opened], copies of great art on their walls, spotlighted so everyone will notice and can go on for hours about the brush strokes of some painting representing a ‘new school’—not knowing an elephant painted it. This is just elitism ! Why else would they fight to maintain the library branches in the affluent areas instead of the areas that might really need them—if needed at all.
    O.k. we get it ! You are cultured and everyone else is too focused on the budget and having a working city. But GET DOWN TO SERIOUS BUSINESS ! Money does not grow on trees—it comes from residents. If the Council wants sculptures and poems in bricks, let them do it at their own houses, at their own expense and charge for viewing.

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