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McConnaughay opposes making income tax hike permanent

Published: Thursday, April 17, 2014 10:32 p.m. CDT

State Sen. Karen McConnaughay is voicing her opposition to a proposal by Gov. Pat Quinn to make permanent an income tax increase that expires at year’s end.

The increase first was approved in 2011.

She said despite the tax increase bringing in nearly $26 billion in new revenue, little has been done to alleviate the backlog of unpaid bills.

“The first promise you broke, to adequately reduce the state’s debt,” McConnaughay said Thursday in a meeting with Kane County Chronicle staff members. “The state in the same time period also cut education funding by more than 14 percent. So again, the question becomes, what did you do with the money?”

McConnaughay noted that in fiscal year 2010, the state had a backlog of $8.4 billion in unpaid bills, and that has been brought down to $6.3 billion, a reduction of $1.6 billion since the tax increase went into effect.

She also said she would be opposed to Illinois implementing a progressive tax.

“It sounds really good in polling, to want the guy who makes more than you make to pay more in taxes,” she said. “But the reality is that when you look at the states that have the progressive tax, that increase in taxation starts at people making $50,000 or more. That’s not necessarily the wealthy. That impacts the people who we are trying to give as much stability to as possible.”

McConnaughay also voiced her support for GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, and said she is in favor of term limits and a Fair Map Amendment. A group called Yes for Independent Maps is working to place a redistricting measure on the November ballot.

“When you have single party control, which is what we have in the state of Illinois, and you are able to draw a map that creates a supermajority, the level of dysfunction that ensues as the result of that is at an all-time high,” McConnaughay said. “There is no incentive for anyone to negotiate and compromise. Compromise is not necessary when you control everything.”

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