Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bear Down…And Gimme Your Wallet…Sucker...

Bend over and spread 'em.

For over a week I traveled to an on-site assignment working at a design firm in Naperville, IL. Driving 160 miles round trip took 1 ½ hours each way but the money was good. Never could I do that on a daily basis but as a freelance contract worker it was not a bad assignment.

There is a new Illinois toll road called I-355 that connects I-80 to I-90 far west of the city which made the trip easier and shorter than the terminally congested old I-294. This trip would be considered a commute between exurb and exurb with no need to go anywhere near Chicago (it’s bad enough traveling through The People’s Republic of Illinois). On this route I experienced NO CONGESTION, none.

I-355 did have a toll. Since I had no I-Pass the toll plazas charged $6 total, round trip on I-355. Add to that $1.20 for passing through a small section of I-294 and $1 on the Indiana Toll Road. The total added up to $8.20 per day. The MX5 took the trip well and driving on cruise control at 60 mph got me 31 mpg (it is claimed to get 28 mpg on the highway), not bad. All added up, one commute cost me about $16, only $2 more than a round trip from Valpo to the city on public rail transportation.

I-Pass is something I never considered since my toll road travels are few. I have read stories about the I-Pass module being able to track your travel information such as speed, destination and location. This also helped keep me away from having one. Knowing there would be at least 10 round trips deep into enemy territory I bought one. It reduces tolls by 50% making the trips less expensive than public transportation. What’s nice is not stopping to pay cash which probably took ten minutes off my travel time. Compared to the city commute it is a better deal. It takes less time but the stress of driving that far each day makes a city commute on a train more favorable, even if it takes longer.

So I will give Illinois an I-Pass on this one.

But each and every week I read about how Illinois politicians find creative new ways to dig deep into our wallets.

Today in the ChiTrib a story appeared in the sports section on how the Shitty of Chicago is set to impose a retroactive amusement tax on Bear fans who purchased personal seat licenses five years ago. A PSL back then cost $900 to $10,000 per seat and all this buys is the right to purchase season tickets for the good seats. Season ticket holders paid a 7% amusement tax on each ticket back then but now pay a 9% rate.

Dan and Carl own seats but I don’t believe they have PSL’s to own them.

How low can the Illinois government go to fleece the voters who keep electing them? Consider if you purchased a car five years ago and suddenly the city (which is looking at a $200,000,000 revenue shortfall) decides the city sticker that you purchase each year isn’t enough so they retroactively tax you on the purchase of the car. Don’t put something like this past those Crook County pudknockers.

So let me get this straight. Chicago sold the rights to the Skyway to a private firm for one billion dollars. They then sold the rights for parking meter maintenance to a private firm for over one billion dollars. Dick Daily is also considering selling Midway Airport to another private firm for even more billions and he still can’t steal enough from the taxpayers to fund a $200 million budget deficit for one year?


On top of all that the Cook County Board just voted for raising another county tax. Oh, and on top of that the new Governor Quinn wants to raise income tax on Illinois residents by 50%.

Good Lord how long will it take for Illinois voters to start stringing up the ropes? Not soon, I’m afraid.

Here's the money quote on the PSL tax from Chicago alderman Joe Moore: "They are picking a group pf folks that aren't going to get a lot of sympathy from the public".

That's the plan. Pick on people who work hard, save money and try to enjoy themselves. That's the big "FU*K YOU" from your Illinois politboro.

I am now convinced that Illinois taxpayers are so conditioned to being raped they are taking Coach Bob Knight’s advice: "I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it."


Dan from Madison said...

ahahaha that is hilarious (and ballsy) that they are going to retroactively tax the PSL holders. That is, was, and always be my "line in the sand". If they put a PSL on my crappy seats, they can shove it.

Dan from Madison said...

funny map...