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February 2010 Archives

In a Sun-Times story running in Wednesday's Naperville Sun, a nonpartisan government watchdog group called the Civic Federation claims the state of Illinois must enact the largest tax increase in state history to help pay the bills.

The state faces a $12.8 billion budget deficit for next year. The group also recommends cutting another $2 billion from government programs and to wrest major concessions from the state's unionized workforce.

Specifically, the group's study recommends that the state income tax be increased from 3 percent to 5 percent for individuals, that retirees' pension and Social Security checks be taxed for the first time at the same rate as workers' paychecks, and the tax on cigarettes be raised by another $1 per pack. The group also favors getting rid of $181 million in corporate tax breaks.

Gov. Pat Quinn has brought up the idea of tax increases before, but the proposal never got anywhere. Even legislators who think we need a tax increase know they will be seriously hurting their chances at re-election if they come out in support of a tax increase, especially during a period of high unemployment and falling salaries.

Still, while no one likes paying taxes, something must be done. It seems unlikely enough cuts could be found to save the state almost $13 billion a year, so new revenue must be found even under the most optimistic scenarios. Is it time for a tax increase, and if not, what can we do instead?

Here is a link to the story: http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/napervillesun/news/2062132,CST-NWS-doomsday22.article

Naperville native Evan Lysacek made his hometown fans proud Thursday night, winning the gold medal in the Olympic men's figure skating competition by posting his career best score of 167.37 in the free skate final to top his nearest rival by a little more than a point.

Our congratulations go out to Evan on making his Olympic dreams come true.

The Sun ran a story on Thursday detailing the funding woes in District 204. Unlike many of these kinds of stories, the district is facing millions in deficits not because of anything it did, but because the state of Illinois is failing to pay the money it owes. The state owes the district more than $7.8 million for the current year, and the district fears the state may not come through with $14 million to $20 million in funding for the next year.

Without the funds, the district may have to lay off employees and make other cuts, beyond those already made to deal with other deficits.

District 204 isn't the only one facing this problem; all of the state's schools are starting to worry about state funds in the future with Illinois projecting a $13 billion debt with no solutions in sight.

What do you think about this? Is it fair for local schools to suffer and people to lose their jobs because of the state's problems? Is there anything we can do on a local level to respond?

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On Wednesday night in a 5-3 vote, the City Council approved a policy prohibiting the throwing of candy or other items by parade participants. However, they would still be allowed to walk along the parade route and hand items to people.

"We're not trying to be the buzz-kill on anything here. We're just trying to put a little common sense into it, which seems to be lacking at times around here," Councilman Grant Wehrli said. "Just don't bean people with candies and don't throw them in the middle of the street so they don't come running out and get hit by a car."

Is this a sensible precaution, or is it another example of the nanny state taking over? Does this change the parade experience?

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2010 is the previous archive.

March 2010 is the next archive.

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