A lot of people had their panties in a bunch over Tony Preckwinkle's Cook County sweetened beverage tax or, as it was generally known: sugar tax.
Chicagonow blogger Bonnie McGrath, called it "wrong-headed, stupid, hypocritical, annoying, thieving, inconsistent, phony, unfair, asinine and just plain dumb." The tax, which was extremely unpopular, was eventually repealed.
Me? I didn't mind it. And I'm a sugar lover. I even have a blog dedicated to the white stuff (although I haven't written about the subject in a couple of years, but that's another story).
While I hate taxes as much as the next guy (especially in Illinois, where the unfunded government worker pension liabilities are the real problem ), if you're going to tax something, at least make it something we really don't need or isn't so good for you.
Cigarettes, soda pop, candy, gambling, recreational pot. Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. Tax 'em if you must.
And the proposed Fair Tax on the Richie Richs living in Illinois? If it were to pass, I'm not convinced the fattest of the fat cats won't hightail it out of our state in their Ferraris and Lear Jets.
They'd do it because, well, they can afford to. The super-rich didn't get that way by throwing their money out the window. Still, until someone comes up with a better idea, it's worth a try.
But the tax that really has my goat, is the gas tax, part of the Horizontal Capital bill that was passed in May.
Beginning July 1, the gas tax, is going to double. It's gonna go up 100%-- from 19 cents a gallon to a whopping 38 cents.
Plus, here in Cook County, towns also have the option to raise gas taxes by another 3 cents a gallon.
If I could take public transportation to work, I would. But it isn't possible from where I live.
I know firsthand that the roads and bridges are in terrible shape and desperately need fixing. Playing dodge the potholes is not my idea of a good time.
But an 100% increase? That's waaaay too much. Couldn't they figure out how to get part of the revenue some other way?
The latest gas tax is going to result in a direct reduction in my paycheck. It's definitely not a Fair Tax. It's a tax on Illinois' hardworking middle class citizens. You might as well just take the food out of our mouths.
Why weren't any protesters protesting this one? Why weren't the bloggers blogging about it (except for me, right now)?
Why didn't we hear a peep from the Op-Ed writers? Why wasn't anyone talking about this income-guzzling increase? Did our legislators sneak this one in? Maybe we're so immune to tax increases that we didn't even notice this time.
It may be too late, but maybe not. After all, the sugar tax was repealed. Contact your state legislators in your area and let them know you're not happy about this bloated gas tax.
My state senator is Anne Gillispie. Her Arlington Height's phone number is: 847-749-1880. Her Springfield phone number is: 217-782-4471.
Don't let Illinois legislators fill 'er up on the backs of its hardworking citizens. It's true our representatives need money to pay for projects, and they'll get it one way or another. Let's at least try to make it another.
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