Tax hike adds to tuition cost

By Maddie Steen

Students are trading concerns over the university’s missing budget in return for a budget with a much higher cost — a 32 percent tax hike — which is not a fair deal.

This budget is of utmost importance, and students can now gain an education without worry of their school and programs being shut down due to lack of funding. Education, however, does come with a price. Personal taxes will be raised from 3.75 to 4.95 percent and corporate tax from 5.25 to 7 percent, according to the budget package passed in the House Thursday.

It’s now our duty as taxpayers to essentially pay for the state budget, but we’re also being forced to pay even more than tuition to fund our school because, we live in the state of Illinois.

It is going to be years until the state starts to see any sort of progress with the budget, but this tax increase happens immediately. NIU has had to reduce staff, restrict office phones for faculty and halt building initiatives, according to an April 4 Campus Update, and now we are being asked to continuously make cuts in order to salvage money by receiving a budget that is 10 percent less than the last full appropriation in Fiscal Year 2015.

Illinois has a $6.2 billion annual deficit and owes $14.7 billion in overdue bills, according to a July 4 Associated Press article. This tax increase, which should have been temporary, will bring $5 billion in revenue. This will obviously be great for our failing state, but the government cannot keep using it’s people and their hard work to make up for their mistakes as leaders.

Primary and secondary schools all over the state will now have funding, including the Chicago public schools that spent months questioning if they were going to have to close early in the spring of this year.

The funding is also being appropriated to universities at which officials can now fund the six months colleges spent crediting Monetary Award Program Grants to students when the funding wasn’t there to back it up yet. The budget sets $365 million aside for universities to cover their expenses for scholarships already distributed and another $400 millions for scholarships this upcoming fall, according to a July 6 DNAinfo article.

Illinois cannot be saved. The state has taken this same approach before — raise taxes but leave underlying issues of the state untouched, in the end hurting businesses and families, according to a statement made by State Sen. Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorne Woods) on July 4.

Continuing down this path will eventually cause another crash, and I doubt Illinois will be able to dig their way out of that one. People who live in Illinois aren’t required by law to continue living here; people will get up and move, and then I wonder how Illinois will attempt to handle this ever-growing problem.