Thursday, January 13, 2011

WI & IL Headed In Opposite Directions on Taxes

Walker uses Ill. tax increase to bolster Wisconsin - Bloomberg
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker tried to take full advantage of Illinois lawmakers passing dramatic tax increases Wednesday, saying Wisconsin would welcome any businesses from its neighboring state that care to relocate.
That's the headline. Beyond that, as noted by Bloomberg and elsewhere, WI taxes are still higher than those in Illinois, even after the increase.

Liberal advocacy group Think Progress took this point and ran with it, calling this "responsible budgeting" noting:
This will allow Illinois to solve a massive $15 billion budget deficit without gutting state programs.
Rather than avoiding "gutting" programs, I'd say this means they've avoided controlling spending.

While it's true that taxes in Wisconsin remain higher than Illinois, trends matter as well as levels.  It's clear that these are two states headed in opposite direction when it comes to tax policy.

I guess if Illinois residents want to pay more for government with a history of corruption they are free to do so.  I, on the other hand, will take Wisconsin's currently higher tax burden along with Governor Walker's pledge to reduce it.  All the other stuff that makes Wisconsin better than Illinois, will just be icing on the cake.

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