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posted: 5/19/2014 5:01 AM

Disabled residents need 5% tax hike

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Gov. Quinn's recently released proposed state budget includes dire consequences for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities if the current 5 percent state income tax rate is not made permanent.

No one wants to pay more taxes than they have to but the governor's threatened 24.5 percent reduction in Human Services funding if the tax is not made permanent will spell disaster for thousands of children and adults and their families.

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Hundreds of social service agencies like Countryside will likely severely curtail or may even end services that help children and adults live and work independently in our communities.

These persons will have to be supported somewhere and at a significantly higher cost. Result: There will be no savings to Illinois and people with disabilities will live significantly diminished lives.

Last month the Countryside Association board of directors approved a board resolution that announces our organization's support to maintain the existing Illinois income tax levels.

The support is only offered provided that the revenues generated are directed to those need areas identified by community providers for the support of people with intellectual/developmental disabilities, mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

The revenue must address wage increases for direct support staff, service rates that ensure quality care and prompt payment for the services rendered.

We ask that our legislators consider long and hard the needs of our state's most vulnerable residents and support the governor's request to maintain the current state income tax rate.

Wayne A. Kulick, executive director

Countryside Association For People with Disabilities

Palatine

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