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Illinois residents have come up with some creative, if not wacky, ways for Governor Pat Quinn to save money for the State of Illinois.
Quinn last week opened an online forum for Illinois voters to voice their opinion on how to fix the state’s $13 billion budget hole. Not all the ideas came from the fringe, but among the 2,000 comments at www.illinois.budget.gov, those are the most entertaining.
“Tax the churches. Don't they receive police and fire protection, plowing of their streets, etc? They have adequate money to pay for the lawsuits against them. They are multimillion dollar groups with no tax consequences,” A Woodridge resident wrote.
“Make all of the dirty politicians that have lost there jobs pay back any pork money they recieved from any independant contractor. Legalize marijuana and tax it twice as much as cigarettes. People will pay the tax and it will attract money from surrounding states. The money goes into the black market now that can be captured by the state in the future,” an Oswego resident wrote.
"Please do not tax tanning beds." John F., Lincoln Park.
"U of Il football coach gets a contract extension at $1.5M a year and he had ONE WINNING season in 5 years!?!?! WTH? You can get those kind of results from the first 10 names in the Champaign phonebook and they'll sure as hell work for A LOT less than $1.5M!!!" Dale of Champaign writes.
"It won't save millions of dollars, but is it really necessary to use a new pen, that I'm sure isn't a 10-cent Bic pen, every time the governor signs his name on a document?" Kevin Taylor, Chicago
"There is too much traveling of state employees. Keep them in their offices. … Do away with ALL state cars except for the governor's." Pamela Yeager, Springfield
"Eliminate the purchase of bottled water for all governmental offices. Many small savings can equal one large, controversial one." Verna Lee Koenig, Arlington Heights
"All monetary fines should be tailored as to the accused financial status. Example — a speeding ticket would be scaled according to income (millionaire pays significantly more than a minimum wage earner)." Randy Forrest Gollay, Buffalo Grove
"Rename any state park accordingly to the corporation or individual willing to cover the expenses in so doing (for a set period)." Randy Forrest Gollay, Buffalo Grove
"Charge public school tuition. $500 per year per student, per family, could yield $1/2 to $1 billion per year." J. Eliot, Mc Henry.
"We need an Internet sales tax! This would provide Illinois additional revenue, support locally owned businesses and possible help keep more dollars in local merchants' hands!" MK Cowen, Naperville
"Start taxing me! My husband and I are retired, and our retirement income is not taxed." Patricia Marlow, Urbana