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Chicago- As the Coronavirus known as
Covid-19 sweeps over the United States, calls for Illinois Governor J.B.
Pritzker to give emergency relief to taxpayers are escalating.
“According to basic economic theory, in
times of crisis and recession, you cut taxes,” said Jim Tobin, economist and
president of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “Covid-19 is a crisis that will
slow economic growth. The intelligent move for Pritzker is to ask the Illinois
General Assembly to pass emergency tax cuts as soon as they are back in session
and sign the bill immediately. Otherwise, we may see unnecessary hardship for
Illinois middle-class taxpayers.”
“Businesses are already telling
employees to stay home, or are closing entirely because of Covid-19,” continued
Tobin. “I have also heard that bureaucrats are considering shutting down the
Chicago transit system. If middle-class taxpayers are unable to work, they will
have trouble paying their mortgage, let alone their property taxes.”
“Pritzker is always going on about a
‘fair tax’ on taxpayers. If Pritzker believes what he says, he will call for
and pass emergency tax relief measures. Otherwise, Pritzker will reveal what he
really is: a gangster kicking a man while he’s down, and stealing from him
everything of value.”
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Raising taxes for “infrastructure” is a scam that helps
politicians but not commuters, according to Jim Tobin, president of Taxpayer
Education Foundation (TEF).
“Politicians want to raise taxes for infrastructure because
new projects give taxpayers the impression they are getting shiny new things
for their money,” said Tobin. “But, in fact, these projects actually harm
“Several studies by transportation expert Randal O’Toole,
Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, show that with the exception of New York
City subway ridership, the
future for the rest of the government transit industry is dim. Yet
billions of dollars are still being poured into declining government transit
systems instead of improving roads.”
“O’Toole provides some startling statistics to illustrate
- Other than New York City subways, nationwide ridership fell 1.2 percent for 2019 as a whole.
- When compared with 2014 ridership, 2019 ridership fell in 44 out of the 50 largest urban areas.
- Transit buses, including commuter buses, trolley buses, and bus-rapid transit as well as conventional buses, carried fewer riders in 2019 than in any year since 1939.
- Light rail is also doing poorly, losing more than 4 percent of its riders in 2019.
- Government Transit is not healthy in almost all urban areas. Los Angeles and Washington ridership peaked in about 2008; Chicago in 2012; and the others in 2013 or 2014. If government transit can’t thrive in Chicago, which has the nation’s second-largest downtown, then it is really becoming a one-urban-area industry (New York).
- Whenever it opens a new light-rail line, Los Angeles loses five bus riders for every light-rail rider it gains, and even light-rail ridership declines in years that it doesn’t open new lines.
“O’Toole shows that building government rail transit usually
does more harm than good to a transit system. Gasoline is cheap and autos
provide people access to far more jobs and other economic opportunities than
transit,” said Tobin.
“Interstate Highways, called the world’s best transportation
system, were paid for entirely out of federal and state highway user fees.
There is little justification for raising more taxes and trying to get people
out of their cars and onto transit, which in turn means there is little
justification for the tens of billions of dollars of annual subsidies American
taxpayers give to the government transit industry.”
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Oak Park-The “Illinois Tax Solutions Forum” presented by AARP, which is staunchly supporting the graduated income tax increase amendment, was a complete flop.
“Very few people were there,” said Val Zimnicki, Taxpayers United of America (TUA) Director of Outreach. “Even with the Full-Page ad in the Chicago Sun Times, I counted only 33 people.”
“I am glad the event flopped,” said Jim Tobin, TUA President. “Not only did AARP present the debate, they also actively participated in it and sided against taxpayers. The fact that tax thieves are starting to peddle propaganda so early indicates their desperation.”
“Two years ago, Illinois passed a $5 billion dollar income tax increase that went exclusively to paying lavish government pensions. Now Springfield, led by Governor Pritzker is coming back for more. Illinoisans will have the opportunity on Tuesday November 3, 2020 to tell these greedy politicians that enough is enough.”