Friday, January 14, 2011

State taxes: Up or down?

This week Illinois took a radical step by balancing the state's seriously in-the-red budget by raising the state income tax 66 percent -- a record for a one-time tax increase -- and raised the state corporate tax to the highest level of any adjoining states.
Wisconsin, which is no slacker on corporate taxes at 7.75 percent, immediately invited Illinois visitors to "Escape to Wisconsin" the theme of a former tourism campaign.
But, the real winner is likely to be neighboring Indiana, already the lowest for business in the region, and a magnet for new manufacturing.
Here is a tip for all those Illinois Democratic legislators and Illinois Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn who argued that businesses will not flee: Take a look at Texas. That state has a history of low taxes and is one of the top population and business growth states in the nation.
Also, I have a question. How does a state that has revenues of $25 billion, manage to overspend by $15 billion. That sort of carelessness deserves a recall not a tax increase.
Meanwhile, Michigan is struggling with its own deficit and how to handle business taxes.
Michigan's is facing a measly $1.5 billion deficit, compared to Illinois' projected $15 billion shortfall.
However, Michigan's economy is considerably worse than that of Illinois. And Michigan is the only state in the nation that lost population in the last census. Our neighbors, including Illinois, complained about a mere reduction in growth.
All eyes are focused on newly elected Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and what he will say in the upcoming state of the state address on Jan. 19.


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