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posted: 6/1/2014 5:01 AM

Just watch income-tax vote next fall

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I saw Mike Riopell's article op May 23. It was the latest in what I'm sure will be a continuing stream of analyses about why the temporary income tax increase is not being made permanent. But so far, I haven't seen anyone explain the issue fully.

Here's what I think: The temporary tax increase will be allowed to expire, although of course if Mr. Madigan and his crew really wanted to make it permanent there can be no doubt that, Illinois politics being what it is, he certainly could do so somehow.

Here's why he is not doing so: The summer will go by with everyone expressing a sigh of relief that income taxes will not go up while at the same time there will be a gathering storm of concern about the programs that will need to be curtailed or ended due to the budget shortfall. And then right after the fall's elections, when the noise about programs being crippled or shed from the budget has reached a crescendo, Mr. Madigan will orchestrate the income tax rate being increased -- not to 5 percent, as it would be if the temporary increase were to be made permanent, but to 6 or even 7 percent, the reason being to create funding for future years.

I am betting that this legislation will be introduced and passed within a week or two of the polls closing this fall, so that everything will be in place with pork aplenty for fiscal 2015 and beyond. Any takers?

Harv Stewart


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