Steve Funk, Libertarian candidate to represent Evanston in the state house, today rejected the tax hike proposals endorsed by newly appointed State Rep. Robyn Gabel.

Funk, who’s collecting petition signatures to appear on the general election ballot, said in a news release, “We can balance the budget, pay down our debt, and still provide essential services without a reckless and short-sighted tax hike on individuals and businesses.”

“State government must learn to live within its means just like the rest of us,” he added.

Gabel, appointed Sunday to complete the term of Julie Hamos who was named to head a state department, pledged last week to vote for House Bill 174, which would increase the income tax rate on individuals and corporations by up to 66 percent. Gabel also called for expanding the income tax to cover an array of services not now taxed.

“Gabel appears eager not only to increase the tax burden on working families and business owners but to impose new service taxes on everything from haircuts to pet grooming to downloaded books instead of confronting our state’s out-of-control spending problem,” Funk said.

A study by the Tax Foundation ranks Illinois’ overall tax climate for business at 30th in the nation. While the current income tax rate is comparatively low, 10th lowest among the states, its sales tax, unemployment insurance tax and property taxes are among the highest in the nation.

By raising the income tax rate, the foundation’s Joseph Henchman says, “legislators would give up the state’s one tax climate advantage.”

Funk says several proposals summarized by the Chicago Tribune “have identified sensible ways to maximize efficiency, cut waste, and reduce administrative costs in state government that would eliminate the need for tax increases.”

“We can rein in government spending, reform our bankrupt state pension fund system, and eliminate waste and corruption without imposing tax increases that will further damage our state’s business climate and require taxpayers to sacrifice even more during a recession,”  Funk added.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Sign Funk’s petition
    Gabel, already appointed to the seat she hasn’t even been elected to, wants to raise taxes on individuals and businesses?

    Meanwhile, not ONE state UNION employee has been laid off and they will get pay raises next year in a state with 11.7 percent unemployment during a severe Recession. Government union employees can retire at age 55 and receive on average 30 percent more in retirement than they put in the pension system their entire career.

    Compound that with the fact that soon Illinois will be faced with tens of millions of dollars more in Medicaid expenditures as hundreds of thousands of people join Medicaid – healthcare welfare that Illinois taxpayers pay for – thanks to unfunded mandates in Obamacare.

    Ah no, I don’t think so.

    Funk’s alternative solutions are WAY BETTER!!

    Sign Funk’s petition, and vote out the arrogant and intolerant Democrats!!!!

  2. Hey Al, It’s me again
    Dear Anonymous Al,

    Again, you’re complaining and you’re fibbing too.

    It’s astonishing to me that you can say that State Union Employees have not been laid off. Union employees have been getting laid off. Labor Unions all over the state are seeing their workers sitting at home. People have lost jobs all over Illinois; Union and non Union.

    The CTA cut 1,100 jobs.

    Iroquois County already has cut its number of deputies by one-third — from 12 down to eight, said Sheriff Eldon Sprau.

    In Springfield, the cuts include 27 Park District jobs.

    …schools are planning for the worst and informing thousands of teachers and other staff that they may not have jobs in the fall. A coalition of education groups estimated the number of layoff notices could top 20,000.

    And as for Robyn Gabel getting appointed, is it really so sinister? Ms. Gabel won the primary, she’s a good person and had an extremely high probability of winning the general election, which she still has to deal with while contending with our fiscal train wreck. I suppose it would be too much to ask for a little patience or good will? Maybe you didn’t vote for her but your vitriol is not helpful. She’s not a Blago-crony and she doesn’t deserve to be treated that way.

  3. You can’t tax and spend your way ouf of the Recession
    Yes Mr Martz, there are teachers, police, firemen (except in Evanston) that have lost jobs. These are union employees on the city and county level.

    But our accidental Governor Quinn cut a deal with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, agreeing to a one year delay of pay raises for union workers. In exchange, the state agreed not to layoff union workers.

    Moreover, most government union workers everywhere are able to hold onto their jobs and in some cases get annual pay raises despite this severe Recession, high unemployment and declining tax revenue.

    The perfect example is in our own backyard in Evanston where the Evanston Union firefighters, which contributed to most if not all City Aldermen and the mayor, not only survived layoffs of existing personnel but will also get overtime and merit pay increases.

    Mayor Tisdahl also appointed on the Evanston Budget Task Force THE PRESIDENT of the city employees union. City employees will get annual merit pay increases as well.

    Let’s not even talk about the unsustainable pension government union employees enjoy that is bankrupting this state.

    Have you noticed that NOT ONE Democrat anywhere is advocating pension reform for CURRENT government union employees?

    Have you noticed that NOT ONE state program has been eliminated?

    Have you also noticed it is the Democrats only who want to raise income taxes on individuals and businesses. How will that create jobs exactly?

    The bottom line Mr. Matz, the Democrats who control all three branches of state government, Cook County, Chicago and Evanston are doing nothing about this fiscal crisis that they almost singlehandedly caused other than raising taxes and borrowing billions more.

    The Democrats are not only delaying the inevitable but are compounding the severity of the problem.

    Exhibit A – Evanston’s own accidental 18th District Congresswoman, Robyn Gabel, who was appointed by the Democrats to fill the seat she is running for as she publicly announces she will support a tax increase for individuals and businesses.

    Now that’s in your face arrogance.

    1. Where to Sign
      Hi JohnF,
      Unfortunately, Steve doesn’t have an office but there are a couple of ways to track down petitioners:
      you can go to and send an e-mail and the campaign will work with you personally. Another alternative is to go here:!/pages/Steve-Funk-for-State-Representative/306469171527?ref=ts

      His facebook page has a list of petitioning events that will be available.

      Thanks for your support of an alternative this election!!!

  4. Go Libs!
    The whole tax increase strategy is all about old money vs. new money. Old money has their money safely secured from the taxman inside trusts and foundations. The plight of “less fortunate” is just a nice stick to carry around – when all they really want is to stay on top of the pile.

    Gabel wants to increase income tax by 2/3 and to triple EIC – how is that for “an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work”!

    1. Go Libs — where?
      Margaret Thatcher’s comment about raising taxes:

      “The only problem with socialism is when you run out of other people’s money”

  5. More petitioning events
    We will be collecting signatures every Saturday morning at the Evanston Farmers’ Market from May 8 until June 12 and also during the YEA festival at Chicago & Dempster on May 15 from 10am until 4pm.

    Please check our facebook page for updates on petitioning events as they get added:

    Contact us to volunteer your time or donate to support the petition drive:

    Every signature gets us closer to our goal of getting on the ballot – thank you for your support!

    1. Enquiry on Steve Funk’s positions
      I checked out Steve Funk’s websites. Like many Libertarians, he has a few good ideas on social policy (legalizing marijuana and gay marriage) and a lot of nutty economic idea.

      Here are some questions:

      Funk (rightly) wants to liberalize marijuana and alcohol laws (lowering the drinking age), but I don’t see anything about preventing drunk driving. Funk opposes sobriety checkpoints. While I agree that people should be able to drink and smoke whatever they want if they aren’t harming others, this is not the case with impaired drivers. If the drinking age is lowered, what will be done to stop drunk/high drivers? And what does Funk think of banning cell phones or texting while driving?

      Medical policy: I don’t see a serious discussion about medical policy. Funk goes back to a mythical ‘Golden Age’, before insurance, when people bought their own insurance and poor people received charity. There is some merit to this. I would also people pay for their own medical care, so that they will keep an eye on costs. (I would also like to see enforcement of anti-trust laws and price fixing by doctors, and breaking up the evil unions (the AMA) ). But Funk doesn’t seem to recognize that in the pre-insurance age, medical care was relatively inexpensive because medicine was primitive and not very useful. Not much could be done for serious medical conditions.

      Today, with more advanced medical techniques, very few people could afford to pay for catastrophic medical expenses (like pancreatic cancer) out of their own pocket. This is where insurance is necessary, to spread the risk. With car insurance or property insurance risk can be spread among a large population; even though I have never filed a claim on my property or car insurance, I pay it just in case I do have an accident some day. It’s not like I know that I will be in an accident next year, so I need to buy insurance.

      That’s not how health insurance works, unless it is mandatory – otherwise healthy people will avoid paying into the fund, and insurers will avoid people with a tendency to get sick (old people, people with genetic predisposition, etc.).

      Like most Libertarians (“Dr.” Ron Paul especially) , Funk doesn’t seem to have realistic ideas on health insurance. In Nevada, Harry Reid’s crazy opponent suggests that people pay for health care in chickens! See a list of chicken-denominated fees here

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *