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Edgar Backs Quinn’s Plan To Make Illinois Income Tax Hike Permanent

Jim Edgar

Former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar speaks to reporters in Springfield, Ill., Monday Oct. 12, 2009. (Seth Perlman/AP)

Former Gov. Jim Edgar (R-Ill.) says spending cuts triggered by the scheduled reduction in the state income tax rate would make it even harder to catch up on unpaid back bills and fund education. 

So, Edgar said Gov. Pat Quinn’s budget proposal to make the state income tax hike permanent is a good idea, but Edgar said the proposal would have been better if the income tax increase had been paired with cuts and controls on spending in the first place.

"You don’t raise revenue or come up with a consistent revenue source and not do the tax cutting or controls that you need to do," said Edgar. "You ought to do them all at the same time. I think that was a mistake they made three years ago, whenever they passed this temporary tax. They didn’t really make any spending cuts or put any effective spending controls in. Would have been helpful."

Edgar himself supported making a temporary tax increase permanent when he was a candidate for governor in 1990. He said that like the current one, that tax increase had to be kept to preserve school funding.

 As for the $500 property tax credit that Governor Quinn is proposing, Edgar said it is useful if it helps get Quinn’s income tax rate extension passed.

But he said it is not like his own proposal to cut school property taxes through a so-called “education tax swap” back in the 1990s.

He said that proposal would have actually given local school districts more state funding, in exchange for a reduction in their property tax rates.

Edgar's tax swap proposal met opposition from GOP lawmakers and did not pass the General Assembly. Edgar put forth the proposal during his second term as governor, after defeating Democratic challenger Dawn Clark Netsch, who had campaigned on a similar proposal.

Categories: Government, Politics