The idea of passing a tax increase in a lame duck session is a fowl one, say Illinois Senate Republicans. While it’s no secret the governor and top Democrats in the legislature want to extend the 5 percent income tax – which otherwise would roll back to 3.75 percent after Dec. 31, “they don't have the votes for it, because their members are feeling accountable to the voters,” says Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont). She says discussions of finding ways to increase revenue should be done before the election or after the election winners are sworn in.
The income tax increase, for a four-year term, passed in January 2011 with the help of several lame ducks who only hours later waddled out of the General Assembly.
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Lawmakers, says State Sen. Darin LaHood (R-Peoria), are trying to short-circuit the will of their constituents. “People spoke up and said, we don't want this to happen,” LaHood said. “What we’ve seen this week is a budget that doesn’t have that tax increase in it. But what we’re hearing this week is Democrats speaking out of both sides of their mouth: Pass this gimmickry budget, but we’re going to pass the tax increase in the lame duck (session).”
The senators said citizens should contact their lawmakers and ask for a specific answer on where they stand on a tax increase in the fall veto session or January lame duck session.