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Taxpayers Oppose Civic Federation's Suggested $1-a-pack Cigarette Tax Increase

CHICAGO–The President of Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today condemned the Civic Federation’s recommendation that the state tax on a pack of cigarettes be raised $1-a-pack. “Not only would such a huge tax increase be counterproductive, but this high regressive tax would drive many small stores out of business, especially minority businesses that are barely surviving in this recession,” said Jim Tobin, TUA President.
“Illinois’ state tax on cigarettes was increased from 58 cents-a-pack to 98 cents-a-pack in 2002. An even larger tax increase is the last thing Illinois needs now.”
“Most tax increases on tobacco have actually resulted in decreasing rather than increasing revenues, as smokers travel to municipalities with lower taxes, or buy cigarettes on the black market,” said Tobin.
“Rising cigarette taxes also have been accompanies by a sharp increase in illegal trafficking of contraband cigarettes. Low-income people who smoke have gotten poorer as criminals engaging in cigarette smuggling have gotten richer.”
“The recommended tax increase per pack will result in such a high tax burden in Cook County and Chicago that it will drive sales to neighboring municipalities in Northeastern Illinois.”
“Of the 57 state excise tax increases between FY 2003 and FY 2007, only 16 met or exceeded projected revenues. In the other instances, states fell short of projections by as much as 181 percent.”
“The state should slash its out-of-control spending and cut taxes, not raise them,” said Tobin.
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Clueless Gov. Quinn Makes Titanic's Captain Seem Highly-Skilled By Comparison

The President of Taxpayers United of American (TUA) today compared Gov. Patrick Quinn (D) to the Captain of the Titanic, saying that Quinn makes the Titanic Captain look highly-skilled by comparison.
“In his state of the State speech today, Governor Quinn quoted Abraham Lincoln. Well, Lincoln also said ‘You can fool some of the people some of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.’ Quinn thinks he is being clever, but he is fooling no one,” said Jim Tobin, TUA President.
“Governor Quinn is presiding over a sinking-ship called Illinois that has raised its state corporate income tax, hurting and driving away businesses, and its state personal income tax a back-breaking 67%. Nevertheless, due to its runaway spending, Illinois had its Moody’s rating downgraded to the lowest rating in the nation. Now he is planning to invest – with money Illinois does not have – in the Illinois Jobs Agenda for 2012, in college scholarships, in early childhood education, in 21st century schools, in affordable housing for Illinois residents, and in clean water.”
“As of June 30, 2011, the five retirement systems in the State of Illinois had total unfunded liabilities of 83.1 Billion. I have suggested that ending pensions for all new government employees and putting them into social security and 401 (k)s is a needed reform that will eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions completely.”
“In addition, if each current government employee in an Illinois State pension fund were required to contribute an additional 10% toward their pension, taxpayers would save in excess of $150 billion over the next thirty-five years.  Requiring government employees and retirees to pay for one half of their healthcare premiums would save even more – an estimated $230 billion over current projections.”
“If Governor Quinn truly wants Illinois to move forward, it is reforms such as these that will have to be implemented in Illinois expects to have the money it will need pay its bills and offer tax relief. But so far, he is steering the state directly toward a huge iceberg.”
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Tax Accountability: Candidates Are Not Endorsed By Us Unless We Say They Are Endorsed

CHICAGO–The chairman of Tax Accountability (TAC), the political action arm of Taxpayers United of America (TUA), today issued a statement warning candidates for office that they must refrain from stating or implying they have been endorsed by Tax Accountability unless the organization specifically states that it has endorsed them.
“Candidates must return our questionnaire and our signed and dated Taxpayer Protection Pledge in order for us to consider endorsing them,” said Jim Tobin, TAC Chairman. “Not all candidates who return our questionnaire and pledge end up being endorsed by us. It is not permissible for a candidate to state or imply he or she has been endorsed by TUA if we have not issued a formal endorsement.”
Tobin referred to the January 24 Naperville edition of the Chicago Tribune that ran a story written by 42nd Dist. State Representative candidate Laura Pollastrini, featuring a picture of her signing the committee’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge
“On the basis of her answers to our questionnaire, we would not endorse Ms. Pollastrini,” said Tobin, “so the picture and article are misleading.”
“Ms. Pollastrini stated she would support tax increases on tobacco and liquor. Therefore, her responses render our Taxpayer Protection Pledge meaningless, because it states that ‘…I will oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.’ Candidates cannot pick and choose which tax increases they will support and expect to be endorsed by us.”
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Taxpayers United Of America: (TUA). is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(4) taxpayer advocacy group. Founded June 27, 1976 in Chicago, Illinois by activist and economist Jim Tobin, TUA works on behalf of taxpayers to reduce local, state, and federal taxes. In the past forty years, TUA has saved taxpayers more than $200 billion n taxes and has become one of the largest taxpayer organizations in America. Check All posts. s.

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