Quick Hit Micah Maidenberg Friday January 28th, 2011, 4:50pm

Edgar, Christie, And Taxes

These days, it seems like you're more likely to see a coyote trapped on an ice floe in Lake Michigan than find a Republican willing to acknowledge Illinois' inefficient and relatively low income tax needed to be raised.

Well, the coyote thing did indeed happen. And yes, there's a big-name GOPer out there who says Illinois needed more revenues. Jim Edgar, the Republican who spent two terms in the governor's mansion in Springfield during the 1990s, agreed that the General Assembly needed to raise taxes to solve the state's mounting fiscal woes, the Daily Herald reported Wednesday. He even gave Gov. Quinn "a lot of credit" for talking about a tax increase during the gubernatorial campaign. In some ways, this isn't that surprising of a relevation. Last fall, remember, Edgar told Don Wade and Roma on their radio program that, "Our taxes, compared to most other industrial states, are low. If we're going to have low taxes, we can't spend as much."

Even with this month's tax hike, Illinois' personal income tax rate will remain lower than the rates many residents of, for example, New Jersey pay. Three out of the six tiers in the Garden State's progressive tax code are higher than Illinois' new rate of 5 percent. Perhaps Edgar could even mention this little fact to New Jersey's GOP Gov. Chris Christie, who is rumored to be coming to Illinois next week to poach state businesses based on the new tax structure here.

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