Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner sent a strong message of fiscal restraint and reform to taxpayers and the legislature this week when he delivered his “turnaround budget proposal” for fiscal year 2016. In it he made clear his intention to relieve taxpayers from the state’s fiscal decline and move towards eliminating the current budget shortfall of $1.5 billion that was caused by the false notion that the 2011 temporary tax increase would be made permanent.
Former Governor Quinn and the legislature claimed that the temporary tax hike was necessary to pay for the budget shortfall, fix the pension mess and straighten out the economy. Of course, the tax hike failed in this regard and what is worse when they created the 2015 budget, they presumed that the “temporary tax increase” would become permanent. This was shortsighted to say the least, and most certainly a miscalculation of taxpayer sentiment going into the 2014 gubernatorial election.