Friday, June 22, 2007

This is ridiculous!

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose shortcomings were lamented yesterday in the post just below this one, has now distinguished himself as grossly undemocratic.

Yes, his veto of legislation that would have speeded up collection of a higher sales tax to pay for Rockford road repairs only delays the process by six months. But his stated rationale presumes to substitute his judgement for that of the local electorate.

In an April referendum, Rockford voters approved the sales-tax increase in question by a landslide margin. But Blago, in defiance of the overwhelming will of the voters, said this today:

"Sales taxes are regressive and disproportionately impact consumers regardless of ability to pay. There are other methods of revenue enhancement that provide for the same worthwhile objective of infrastructure investment that are not regressive."
But, Governor, the voters said they wanted the sales-tax hike for that infrastructure investment. They're the ones (along with visitors to the city who make certain purchases here and avail themselves of said infrastructure) who will be paying those higher sales taxes. Who the hell are you to say they made the wrong choice? Nobody elected you to make such decisions on local taxation.

What an arrogant man!

POSTSCRIPT: Let's not have it said that Blago's veto was justifiable on grounds that the referendum allowed only for the tax hike to take effect in January. The governor's statement in favor of the veto had nothing to do with the timing. Rather, he said he's just flatly against a sales-tax for infrastructure improvements, no matter that voters took the opposite view.

Moreover, the local electorate's representatives in the General Assembly pushed the legislation that would have moved up the effective date of the tax increase, and they persuaded a majority of their colleagues to vote for it.

Blago was way out of line on this one.

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