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Schaumburg: Friends, enemies when it comes to taxes

Published: Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013 12:06 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 5:07 p.m. CDT

When it comes to friends and enemies of taxpayers, McHenry County residents have neither – not even Jack Franks.

That’s the opinion of Taxpayers United of America, one of the largest taxpayer organizations in the country.

TUA last week released its 15th biennial tax survey of the Illinois General Assembly. The survey reveals the tax-and-spending records of every member of the 97th General Assembly from January 2011 to January 2013.

“The 97th General Assembly accomplished little to improve the tax landscape for Illinois residents,” TUA President Jim Tobin said in a news release. “Unfortunately, the real legacy of the 97th General Assembly is the lack of any government pension reform. While lawmakers nickel-and-dime Illinois taxpayers with increased license plate taxes and numerous speed and red-light cameras, they failed to reform the problem that is bankrupting the state and causing residents to flee in droves.”

TUA’s survey examines every lawmaker’s vote on bills regarding tax cuts and tax increases. A lawmaker can achieve a perfect score if he or she votes for each tax cut and against each tax increase. Such a lawmaker would receive a score of 100 percent.

Based on TUA’s assessment, there were only five taxpayer friends in the 97th General Assembly, and they all were Republicans from the House: Patricia Bellock (47th District), Paul Evans (102nd), Mike Fortner (95th), Chad Hays (104th) and Jil Tracy (93rd).

Those five scored a 71 percent on the survey. Do you know who else scored a 71 percent? Franks, the Democrat from Marengo.

However, Franks failed to make the taxpayer friends list. Why? Because he’s a Democrat.

Tobin told me this week that in this survey and the previous survey, TUA refused to put Democrats on the friends list because of the orchestrated and “structured” vote to raise the personal and corporate income tax in Illinois during a lame-duck session in 2011.

TUA doesn’t trust Democrats’ votes, so they don’t make the friends list. Franks, by the way, voted against the income-tax increase.

As for taxpayer enemies, 20 Illinois senators made the list, including James Meeks (15th), who scored a zero. Forty-two Illinois House members were on the enemies list, including House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Locally, state Sen. Pam Althoff, R-McHenry, scored a 50 percent. State Sen. Dan Duffy, R-Lake Barrington, scored a 64 percent.

Besides Franks in the House, Rep. Mike Tryon, R-Crystal Lake, scored a 50 percent. The late Mark Beaubien, R-Barrington Hills, didn’t score in the survey. His replacement, Kent Gaffney, R-Lake Barrington, scored a 64 percent.

• Jason Schaumburg is editor of the Northwest Herald. He has the fifth pick in his fantasy hockey draft Sunday night. Tweet at him (@Schaumy) with who you think he should select at No. 5. Reach him at 815-459-4122 or via email at jschaumburg@shawmedia.com.

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