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updated: 1/31/2011 6:30 PM

House hopeful disputes claims he wants to end revenue sharing

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  • Tom Morrison

      Tom Morrison

 

Republican Tom Morrison says he doesn't support eliminating or scaling back revenue sharing between the state and municipalities, and wouldn't make such a proposal if elected state representative from the 54th District in November.

So why did his Democratic opponent, Matt Flamm, recently post on his campaign website and issue a news release stating Morrison wants to do just that?

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Flamm, an attorney from Palatine, said he's confirmed with several people that Morrison discussed his support for the plan, which would transfer millions of dollars of revenue from the local level to the state and leave villages like Palatine and Inverness with unbalanced budgets.

Currently, Illinois shares 10 percent of its income tax revenue with municipalities.

"He (Morrison) did say it. He does believe it. He does advocate it," Flamm said. "He did receive criticism and has backed off of it."

When first asked about the release, Flamm said he heard from several sources he declines to identify that Morrison spoke with Palatine Councilman Scott Lamerand about his support to abolish revenue sharing if Republicans take control of the House.

Lamerand acknowledged Morrison called him and that the topic was discussed, but said he didn't get a strong feeling where the candidate stood on the matter.

"Our conversation was about the impact it would have to the village of Palatine, because we'd have to come up with over $5 million," Lamerand said. "To say (Morrison) was totally for it or against it wouldn't be factually correct."

Lamerand said Flamm's issuing of a news release based on an exchange he didn't take part in is irresponsible politics.

Councilman Aaron Del Mar said he's not Flamm's source and never has spoken to Morrison about the topic. Some who keep tabs on local politics assumed it was him, he said, because he supported longtime state Rep. Suzie Bassi over the more conservative Morrison in the Republican primary.

"I get accused of being a Democrat anyway, so everybody thinks it was me," Del Mar said.

Morrison said he believes "money that comes from the district should stay in the district as much as possible. It gets back to accountability, and there's much more of that in local government."

Flamm said he was "taken aback" by Lamerand's remarks, but is delighted Morrison has abandoned the plan.

"This extreme impractical proposal was poorly thought out," Flamm said. "I commend Tom Morrison for recognizing that this was a bad idea."

The 54th District includes all or part of Palatine, Inverness, Arlington Heights, Hoffman Estates, Rolling Meadows and South Barrington.

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