(CHICAGO) — The president of Illinois’ largest taxpayer group this week urged Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) to actively oppose Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn’s (D) proposed 100 percent Income-Tax Increase Amendment, currently in the state Senate.

“Gov. Blagojevich repeatedly promised during his campaign that he would not raise our taxes,” said Jim Tobin, president of National Taxpayers United of Illinois (NTU). “The Governor’s silence on his Lt. Governor’s attempts to push through this income-tax hike makes it look like he’s raising income taxes through the back door. He’s just having Quinn do the dirty work for him.”

The Quinn Income-Tax Increase Amendment was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Maggie Crotty (D-19, Oak Forest) as SJRCA20. As a proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution, SJRCA20 will never cross Gov. Blagojevich’s desk. Instead, it needs 60 percent approval in both chambers of the General Assembly by May 2 to be placed on the November 2004 statewide ballot, and 60 percent of the vote in the November General Election to increase the state income tax.
According to the March 25 Daily Southtown, Gov. Blagojevich “hasn’t told Quinn to cease his efforts” to increase Illinois’ income tax. NTU’s letter, mailed Monday to the Governor’s Springfield office, reminds Blagojevich of his campaign promises and states that Quinn’s proposed amendment “would permanently double the state income tax on Illinois’ most productive citizens, and would have a detrimental effect on Illinois’ dismal economy. Illinois is already the 13th-highest taxed state in the nation, according to the non-partisan Tax Foundation’s 2004 rankings. Our unemployment rate, currently at 6 percent, has consistently been above the national average during this recession.”
A letter opposing SJRCA20 was also faxed and mailed to every member of the Illinois Senate Executive Committee, where the Quinn Income-Tax Increase Amendment is awaiting a hearing.
“We are demanding that Gov. Blagojevich keep his promise to the people of Illinois and keep our taxes from going even higher,”said Tobin. “If he has any interest at all in stabilizing Illinois’ faltering economy, he will stop this atrocity. If, on the other hand, Blago is secretly behind the Quinn Income-Tax Increase Amendment, he’ll just let his tax-grabbing henchmen do whatever they want.”

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