Metro East Sun 7-16-18
On the one-year anniversary of the 2017 state budget that included a record-setting 32 percent permanent income tax hike, Republican House candidate Dwight Kay has the same questions he's always asked.
“I’ve always been curious to know what all this additional revenue was needed for,” Kay told the Metro East Sun. “As for now, I’m like everyone else in wanting to know where all that money went. They told people they were going to balance the budget, pay pensions and pay down debt. It’s hard to see how much of that could have happened when we still have nearly $8 billion in unpaid debt.”
Kay counts himself among the growing crowd that staunchly believes raising the individual tax rate from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent and the corporate tax rate from 5.25 percent to 7 percent have done none of the things lawmakers who overrode Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto to ram the bill through assured that it would.
“Our bond rating is still bad and no better, we’re still in a deficit position and we still have a tremendous amount of unpaid bills,” said Kay, who is running against incumbent Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville) in Illinois’ 112th District. “We now also have the lowest growth rate of any state in the country. While other states are enjoying job growth, Illinois is just languishing behind with the smallest of everybody.”
The tax hikes of 2011, when the state economy lost $55.8 billion in real GSP growth and at least 9,300 jobs, is as an example of the carnage such hikes can create, according to the Illinois Policy Institute.
Illinois ranked as low as 42nd in the country in jobs growth as recently as 2017 and is behind the pace of all neighboring states, with Chief Executive Magazine ranking Illinois as low as the 48th best state to do business in.
“I’m in neighborhoods every day, going door to door, and I see more for sale signs now than I have at any other time in my life,” Kay said. “Still, more people say if they could they would leave. This state has become unaffordable, except for the really rich, and it’s only going to get worse if we don’t get better leadership in Springfield. Nothing good will happen as long as we have (House Speaker Mike) Madigan running the state and encouraging his Chicago style politics for everybody.”