Candidates seeking the 29th District Senate seat in the Illinois legislature differ on what to do about state income tax increases that have been in effect since 2011.
Democrat Julie Morrison of Deerfield says she's willing to let the taxes fade on their own, while Republican Arie Friedman of Highland Park contends it's better to push for a repeal. They addressed the idea of pursuing an early end to the individual and corporate tax-rate hikes during recent Daily Herald editorial board endorsement interviews.
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Friedman and Morrison are on the Nov. 6 ballot seeking to represent the 29th Senate District, which includes parts of Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Wheeling, Mount Prospect, Highland Park, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Northbrook, Deerfield, North Chicago and Glencoe.
State Sen. Susan Garrett, who has represented the district for a decade, did not seek re-election this year but is backing Morrison as her successor.
In January 2011, Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law what's been called a temporary income tax hike on individuals and businesses. The individual tax rate rose from 3 percent to 5 percent, with the corporate side jumping from 4.8 percent to 7 percent.
Under the plan, the individual income tax rate is to decline from 5 percent to 3.75 percent, while the corporate rate goes from 7 percent to 5.25 percent in 2015.
Morrison, elected as West Deerfield Township's supervisor in 1997, said while she doesn't believe she would have voted for boosting the income tax rates, she's against trying to reverse them before 2015. She said ending the additional income stream early likely would hurt funding of education and other vital services.
"I don't think that's responsible," Morrison said. "I think we need to let them (tax hikes) expire as planned. It was supposed to be a temporary tax increase, both corporate and (individual) income. I intend to make sure that's what happens."
But Friedman, a pediatrician who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2010, said repeal of the tax rates should be sought because he doubts they will drop as planned in a little more than two years. He said the extra cash from the higher taxes won't be needed if comprehensive reforms are made to public pensions and Medicaid.
"I want it repealed and, hand in hand with that, we have to reform the systems that are driving that cost," Friedman said.
State campaign disclosure documents show Morrison had $62,406 in the bank for her election effort as of June 30. Records show Citizens for Susan Garrett has contributed more than $10,000 to the Morrison campaign.
Friedman had $42,868 in available campaign funds as of June 30, the end of the most recent reporting period.