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Graduated income tax?

Published: Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

Amending the Illinois Constitution to allow a graduated income tax? Who wouldn’t like to stick it to those ostentatious types with those $100,000 foreign cars that go zero to 60 in four seconds?

But ...

1. Can we really trust legislators and governors to keep their word? Now, their “temporary” 67 percent income-tax increase doesn’t seem so temporary. I don’t mind taxing people richer than me, but how can I trust the Legislature not to “graduate” my own taxes down the road?

2. Also, a lot of smart, older rich people might move to Florida or Nevada, where there is zero income tax.

3. On the other hand, Oregon has a 13.3 percent not-graduated income tax, but when I used to go out there visiting relatives, I always would hear about how few high-paying jobs there were. I guess hardworking, job-creating entrepreneurs don’t want to move to Oregon and then give up 53 percent of their income in combined federal and state income taxes.

Finally, I have a close friend whose 33-year-old daughter is a driver’s education teacher at an Illinois public high school. He confided to me that she is making more than $80,000 a year plus full medical benefits. When she is in her early 50s, she will be eligible for retirement at 75 percent of her final pay – maybe $50,000 to $60,000 a year for an additional 20 to 30 years! Not bad for an 8-month-a-year job!

Since legislators are willing to change the Constitution, maybe they should consider asking public servants for sacrifice.

Tom Schreiner

West Dundee

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