House candidate Strick says Madigan ignores the working middle class
Moody’s Investors Service reported late last month that the backlog of bills in Illinois due to the stopgap budget may reach $14 billion by the end of the fiscal year.
To help pay for the backlog, Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) has pushed reinstating the 2011-14 state income-tax hike that temporarily increased the personal income tax from 3.75 to 5 percent and the corporate income tax from 4.8 to 7 percent. The temporary taxes rolled back on Jan. 1, 2015.
Aurora's Mike Strick, the Republican candidate for the state House seat in District 84, believes Madigan wants to make the tax increase permanent.
“They are setting us up for a larger income tax,” Strick told DuPage Policy Journal. “Madigan and his cronies want to go back to the old (former Gov. Pat) Quinn days where he was charging each resident 5.74 percent for their income taxes. That’s what he is looking to do. He wants to keep that permanent.”
Moody’s pointed out that the six-month stopgap budget will push general fund expenditures up to 12 percent as the state struggles to obtain new revenue and continues to spend. Strick said the continuous cycle of spending then taxing the voters has driven away residents.
“You would not believe how many people I’ve talked to about property taxes and how many people want to leave the state of Illinois because it is unaffordable,” he said. “We’re losing more and more services all the time. People are saying it just keeps going to the pensions and we’re not getting anything out of our money.”
The state’s financial mismanagement has pushed out the struggling middle class and Strick claimed that Madigan and Strick's opponent, state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit (D-Aurora), are doing nothing to stop the bleeding.
“The only middle class that I think Mike Madigan and Stephanie Kifowit care about are the people on the government dole,” he said. “That’s only middle class people that they care about.”
Strick said that Madigan and Kifowit are oblivious to working class residents like him.
“They don’t care about me,” he said. “I’m a working class guy. I have to struggle every day to pay the bills. I don’t know how busy I am going to be on [any given] day. What happens if it rains? I lose a lot of customers because they don’t want to come in because it is raining. I’m struggling just like every other little small business in town.”
As a small business owner, Strick said he struggles with paying $18,000 a year on property taxes as well as close to $22,000 to $24,000 a year for worker’s compensation. It totals to close to $40,000 to keep his doors open, he said
“I am a small business owner with four or five employees,” Strick said. “I can’t even imagine what a larger company like Caterpillar has to pay. As a matter of fact, Caterpillar is laying off 600 more people, mostly engineers. Those are good-paying jobs. What about that middle class? What about them? What about keeping those people employed here in the state?"
As the backlog of bills steadily rises, the state’s pension debt marches in step. Strick said he thinks it’s unfair that taxpayers have to bear the brunt of paying off the pensions and the only way to resolve and fix the issue is to elect people who seek to change the system.
“We have to elect people who really care about the state and the financial difficulty we are in,” he said. “So many people are leaving the state of Illinois. So many companies are leaving Illinois. It makes no sense to stay in Illinois. When all these people and all these companies leave, you know what happens? It puts the burden on the people who are still here. We have to pay more and it’s just to the point of breaking.”
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