Here’s a challenge. If you think your local property, Illinois state income and sales taxes are too low, please remit your add on funds to the St. Clair County Collector for property taxes and to the Illinois Department of Revenue for additional income and sales tax payments. If you think they are too high, then please vote for fiscally conservative candidates at all levels to get our spending under control. Our state owes $111 billion to the employee pension funds and the Democrat’s proposed 2017 state budget has a $7 billion deficit. Yes, there have been Republican governors in the past, but for the most part the legislature has been firmly controlled by Mike Madigan and John Cullerton’s Democrats. In reality, they are the only ones who have the real power to reduce spending, balance the budget and put any tax increase directly into reducing our debt. When our state income tax rate was raised a few years ago, not one penny went to pay off our pension liability or debt. We have more units of local government than any other state; the highest debt to tax revenue ratio and the second highest property taxes in the United States. Homeowners and landlords in East St. Louis are paying more by percentage in property taxes than those living in swanky Waterford Estates or Far Oaks neighborhoods. Now isn’t that something?
Phil Henning, Smithton