Severin says no to more tax hikes
People are already taxed too much, according to Dave Severin, Republican contender for House District 117, which is why he opposes tax hikes of any kind.
Severin, the first challenger to incumbent Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion) since he took office in 2003, boldly spoke out regarding Illinois' budget woes and taxes.
As the owner of a small business that employs a dozen workers, Severin is familiar with the regulations and taxes that impede the growth of business in Illinois.
After State Comptroller Leslie Munger said earlier this year that the income tax rate would more than double if the state did not enact budget reforms and instead depended on a tax-only solution to the ongoing budget crisis, Severin responded with a promise to work toward improving Illinois' finances if elected to the general assembly.
The state has been operating without a full budget since last July due to state House Speaker Mike Madigan's (D-Chicago) and Gov. Bruce Rauner clashing over spending and proposed reforms.
The governor and Republican legislators are pressing for structural changes and reforms to make Illinois more business friendly, which includes changing the workers' compensation regulations and revising state pensions.
Yet, Severin said no one has presented viable solutions to the state's fiscal problems. Instead, without a budget and burdened by onerous taxes, residents are moving to other states for jobs and lower taxes, further reducing the state's revenues, he said.
Without a new budget, Munger said in February the state's bills would increase to approximately $6.2 billion more than the revenue it is taking in.
A budget presented to the legislature in May by Rauner was unbalanced, with more than $7 billion in the red. When Bradley voted for the unbalanced budget presented to the House in late May, Severin vehemently stated his opposition to the bill.
"Madigan’s budget, unbalanced to the tune of $7.2 billion, forces a $1,000 tax hike on the average Illinois family – a 47 percent tax hike – and the highest rate in Illinois history," Severin said.
Severin places the blame for the budget problems squarely on Madigan and the Democratic legislators.
"Madigan and his allies have said no to job-creating reforms and no to a short-term budget fix that would fully fund our schools, prisons, social service providers and others reliant on state services without raising taxes a single dime," Severin said. "Let there be no doubt that Speaker Madigan and the politicians that stand with him are standing in the way of growth and reform for Illinois."
While a stopgap budget was passed in late June, it was only a temporary measure. It provided funding for education and essential services, but has left Illinois with a massive backlog of unpaid bills. Moody's Investor Services warned that if the unpaid bill backlog is not addressed, it could grow to more than $14 billion, leaving the state deeper in debt.
Severin continues to oppose all tax increases, however. With the proposed structural changes, pension reform, spending cuts and implementation of a balanced budget, he believes that Illinois can resolve its budget problems without raising taxes.
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