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In his State of the State address Wednesday, Bruce Rauner made his case against raising taxes, or against raising taxes without structural reforms that include aspects of his “turnaround agenda,” or … something.
[But we can’t just raise taxes again. We know that doesn’t work. While the 2011 tax hike was in place, our credit rating was downgraded five times, we barely made a dent in our bill backlog, state support for schools was cut, our unfunded pension liabilities went up $28 billion, and our economic growth fell to almost half the national average. Raising taxes without improving our ability to compete will not help the people of Illinois, and in fact, it will make things worse.]
He’s not specifically saying that raising taxes made the state’s fiscal health worse, just that we can’t “just” raise taxes again, which I suspect lots of people would broadly agree with. Rauner has agreed to allow Democrats to raise taxes if they pass his desired reforms, though he was critical of the idea. Nonetheless, the litany of measures he mentions in the wake of the tax increase arguably implies that it was a failure.
So, is he right?
“Some of it is technically true,” says Amanda Kass, research director for the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability. “But it’s misleading.”