PONTIAC – Rolling back taxes and letting residents take control were themes promoted by Gov. Bruce Rauner during a stop in Pontiac over the weekend.
During his address to a meeting of township officials from Livingston and McLean counties, Rauner said the tax burden is too high in Illinois and his top priority is rolling back the income tax hike. Property tax burdens also need to be reduced, in Rauner’s opinion.
“The best way to do that is to get local control and let the local residents and taxpayers control themselves,” the governor said.
Rauner believes agriculture’s success is Illinois’ success, claiming he will do everything he can for Illinois farmers.
“I was honored to be the first governor to implement a harvest emergency so we could really get our products to market quickly,” he said.
Rauner admits the upcoming election cycle will be “tough” but critical. He suggests Democrats are not telling the truth while campaigning and would raise the income tax even more, accelerating what he refers to as a downward spiral.
State Rep. Tom Bennett (R-106th) was on hand for the governor’s speech and believes the budget, pensions and students leaving Illinois are some of the most pressing issues currently.
“It was really good to have (Gov. Rauner) here in town,” Bennett stated. “I’m afraid we are going to have more money spent on the governor’s race and every race down the entire ballot than we’ve ever had before.”
State Sen. Bill Brady (R-44th), who also serves as the Senate Republican leader, believes jobs should be the top priority of state leaders. He said the state’s economic situation will never be fixed and the budget will not be balanced until Illinois starts creating jobs.
“We’ve got to reduce the tax burden. The governor is committed to rolling that back as are we.”
Brady is hopeful for more bi-partisan solutions such as the education reform package which he said moved the state to the forefront of the nation.