Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Paul Vallas Slams Rauner's Tax Plan as "Reckless"

Gov. Quinn's running mate claims lowering Illinois' income tax will "destroy" schools

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Paul Vallas Slams Rauner's Tax Plan as "Reckless"

Gov. Pat Quinn's running mate, Paul Vallas, unleashed a passionate rant slamming Bruce Rauner's newly released tax plan as "totally disingenuous if not totally dishonest."

Tearing into Rauner at a press conference Monday, Vallas lamented: "After a 500-day wait, this is what we get — a plan that would put an $8 billion hole (in Illinois' budget). This extreme and reckless proposal doesn't add up, not even close."

Vallas questioned Quinn's Republican rival on his proposal to freeze property taxes, phase out the increase in the state's income tax and impose a sales tax on services like golf memberships and charter flights that he dubbed "non-essential" and said would generate $600 million in revenue. (Quinn, meanwhile, wants to keep the income tax rate at 5 percent to avert a pension-related fiscal crisis amid warnings -- and another downgrade -- by Moody's Investor Services. The rate, originally designed to be temporary, reaps about $8 billion annually.)

His voice rising, the lieutenant governor candidate -- formerly head of Chicago Public Schools and a controversial advocate for education reform -- said Rauner's pitch would decimate the state-wide school system.

"And if you don't think that you can cut $8 billion dollars from discretionary spending and not devastate schools across the state and in the poorest communities -- absolutely, absolutely destroy their schools as they currently exist ... this is even worse than smoke and mirrors," opined Vallas.

Defending his "Bring Back Blueprint," Rauner said Monday: "Unfortunately our government is very inefficient, very wasteful and we’ve got to restructure.”

The Winnetka venture capitalist's tax-and-jobs-growth strategy is polling well among voters but has come under fire for offering scant details on how Illinois would pay for proposed cuts. Per Ward Room's own Mark Anderson: "(L)ike so many Republican budget proposals, Rauner’s plan guts state revenue collection from one set of taxes and expects that miracle economic growth will make up the difference."

And without further ado, here's Paul Vallas:

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