Daley discusses Quinn tax hike proposal

Mayor proponent of 'tax swap'
March 31, 2009 (CHICAGO) Quinn has proposed a 50 percent increase for the state the income tax to fix the state's budget crisis.

His plan now faces some powerful opposition.

Just under nine weeks in office, the state's unelected governor finds himself up against some of the heaviest of political heavyweights in Illinois.

On Tuesday, Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley took shots at the governor's budget especially targeting the Quinn plan to raise the state's income tax from 3 to 4.5 percent.

At a South Side elementary school, the mayor began by calling the Quinn budget plan "a starting point for conversation and debate". Then he said he could never support the governor's income tax increase proposal without something else.

"Property tax relief. Simple as that. There has to be property tax relief," said Daley.

The mayor blamed soaring property taxes for at least part of the worsening foreclosure problem in the city and for years has blamed the low income tax/high property tax system for inadequately funding city public schools. And Daley said because none of the governor's income tax increase would go to local governments makes his opposition to it even stronger.

Quinn, sworn in after Rod Blagojevich was ousted at the end of an impeachment trial, was immediately confronted with an estimated eleven-point-five billion dollar state deficit. After announcing his plan for a balanced budget, he has repeatedly called on critics come up with a better plan to restore the state's finances.

"I laid out a plan a couple weeks ago, a specific, concrete plan. It had castor oil in it. I admit that. It's difficult but you've got to take medicine sometimes to get better," said Gov. Quinn.

The mayor also complained the Quinn budget is about $150 million short in need spending on Chicago Public Schools and the plan does not offer any relief for the stressed CPS pension system.

Daley also says the Quinn capital spending plan is not specific on where the state would invest in schools and public transportation.

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