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May 11, 2014

Expecting tax relief in 2015

A spokesman for state House Speaker Michael Madigan said he doesn’t know anything about a plan to extend Illinois’ temporary income tax increase for one more year because there aren’t enough votes to make it permanent. But Rep. Jerry Costello II, DSmithton, wouldn’t be talking about the idea if it weren’t being floated around in Springfield.

We don’t blame the spokesman for trying to distance Madigan from this bad idea of taking an extra week’s worth of pay from taxpayers. But the spokesman’s denial is about as believable as the governor’s spokeswoman saying that Pat Quinn didn’t use his anti-violence program to win votes four years ago.

Fortunately, the tax proposal may be moot now that Costello has exposed it to the light and stated his opposition. As Costello points out, politicians who vote for this would be breaking their promise that the tax rate would go down in 2015. It would be no different than voting to make the increase permanent.

Putting off the decision until after the November election would accomplish nothing for the people, just the politicians who don’t want to make difficult votes right before an election.

Lawmakers passed the 66 percent temporary income tax increase under the cover of darkness and with lame-duck legislators casting the votes to push it over the top. Now some lawmakers are trying to go back on their word and pretend they’re not.

Thanks to Costello for reminding everyone of the definition of “temporary,” and for stating flatly that he won’t go back on his word, even if his fellow Democrats in Springfield do. Taxpayers deserve to get back that week’s worth of pay in 2015.

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