Neal Waltmire: Rauner inconsistent, irresponsible on taxes – Opinion – The State Journal-Register – Springfield, IL

8 Aug

Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner has a track record of saying one thing and doing another.

He stumped for months against raising the minimum wage, then tried to deny it. He claims credit for his record in business but won’t take responsibility for the bankruptcies, lawsuits and layoffs left in his wake.

And now Rauner wants to raise taxes on working people, even though recent reports show a pattern of exploiting tax loopholes himself.

Rauner said recently that if he’s elected governor, he’ll push for 32 different new sales taxes on the people of Illinois. Under Rauner’s plan, you’d be taxed to put something in storage, stay overnight in a campground or hire a lawyer.

At nearly the same time, news reports revealed Rauner’s own record of using loopholes to avoid paying taxes on his enormous fortune. The Chicago Tribune reported that the IRS now is scrutinizing the sort of schemes Rauner employed to pay a lower tax rate on $53 million of income in 2012 than that paid by millions of middle-class families.

Tax filings also showed that Rauner paid nothing into Social Security and Medicare — not a single penny — on income of $55 million in 2010 and 2011.

Yet on the campaign trail, Rauner has refused to rule out forcing Illinois seniors to start paying state income tax on their own Social Security benefits or other retirement income.

He also opposes the millionaire’s-tax referendum that asks whether the richest Illinois residents should pay a little bit more to protect our priorities and invest in the great state that made their success possible.

In every instance, it appears Rauner wants to pay less but make us pay more.

The pattern extends to his business record, where time and again, Rauner’s companies failed to pay their taxes. Rauner was a director of HealthRev, a collection agency that failed to pay $81,000 in Illinois taxes.

His investment firm GTCR failed to pay nearly $13,000 in unemployment taxes when Rauner was chairman. And his current company, R8 Capital, was disciplined for failure to pay the state’s required license fee.

Finally, there’s Rauner’s claim that he will reduce the state income tax over four years. Doing so would blow a massive hole in the state’s budget, forcing devastating cuts to our children’s education, vital health care services and the safety of our communities, while costing tens of thousands of jobs — but Rauner himself would wind up with a $1 million annual tax cut.

Rauner seems to think the middle class is taxed too little but billionaires like him need a break. That’s the opposite of the values of hard work and playing by the rules that built the middle class in this state. More…

via Neal Waltmire: Rauner inconsistent, irresponsible on taxes – Opinion – The State Journal-Register – Springfield, IL.


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