By John Dempsey, WLS-AM News
(CHICAGO) Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says he is committed to solving the state’s budget standoff, but he blames Democrats for this week’s failure to pass a budget before the end of the spring Legislative session Wednesday night.
Rauner told “The Big John and Ray Show” on WLS that he cannot approve a budget unless it contains local property tax relief. When told the Senate approved a two year property tax freeze, Rauner responded by saying what the Senate approved is “phony.”
“A property tax freeze for two years is nothing, that’s baloney. That’s a headline. You know what would happen to homeowners and business owners in years three, four, five, six? Their property taxes would go through the roof. That is not real reform. That’s a phony headline. This is the kind of stuff that’s been going on in Illinois for years and we’ve got to stop it.”
The Senate passed a budget that includes an increase in the personal income tax rate from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent, which is just below the 5 percent rate in place before Rauner took office. The Senate also voted to hike the corporate income tax rate from 5.25 percent to 7 percent, but the House did not take a vote on that budget. Rauner says the Democrats, who control both chambers, are to blame for the state’s ongoing budget impasse.
“It’s an unbelievable dereliction of duty that the majority in the General Assembly, controls the spending, they would not pass any budget at all. They passed no budget and the Senators passed a massive tax hike, massive tax hike, with no property tax relief which is the most important tax relief that we’ve asked for from the General Assembly. It’s crushing our homeowners and our small business owners. We need property tax relief but they wouldn’t do it.”
Rauner did praise Senators for passing pension reform and procurement reform. He did say he will not sign a stopgap spending bill which would be designed to get the state through the next few months.
“No way. I’ve said I’m opposed to stopgap spending bills. We’ve been doing stopgaps under Speaker Madigan for 35 years. That’s how we got into this mess. We always have deficit spending. We gotta stop it. That’s what stopgaps are. They’re deficit short-term spending plans that cause our trouble.”
On another subject, Rauner said he had nothing to do with the Chicago Tribune publishing leaked FBI undercover audiotape of Democratic Gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker, asking then-Governor Rod Blagojevich to appoint him Illinois State Treasurer in 2008.
“Good grief, that’s so ridiculous. Absolutely not. It just shows how broken and corrupt our political system is. These insiders. These guys self dealing, manipulation, conflicts of interest. This system is so broken it’s disgusting. Our political system is broken, our economy is broken, our education funding is broken, and this is why I’m standing strong, working for the people, protecting taxpayers and growing jobs and I will never give up.”
@ 2017 WLS-AM News