Dr. David Tuerck
Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University
8 Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
wanted to write and thank you and your staff for all of your assistance
in Illinois. We just recently received our 2005 Illinois-STAMP and
have begun implementing our program.
are currently using it to assess two proposed tax increases. The
first is an education funding reform scheme - sold as property tax
relief - that hikes income and sales taxes hikes by $3.8 billion.
The second is the Governor's budget. In it, Governor Blagojevich
has proposed $.75 increase in tobacco excise taxes.
expectations are that this year's STAMP program will be every bit
as successful as 2003's. As you recall, that year we used STAMP
to analyze $541 million in proposed business taxes and fee hikes.
Illinois-STAMP told us that hikes would fall $100 million short
of the Governor's predictions and that business investment would
drop by $110 million. New job growth would lag.
following spring, as policy makers gathered to negotiate the FY
2004 budget, the Associated Press and the Illinois Economic and
Fiscal Commission reported that revenue from the business tax and
fee hikes had fallen short by $100 million. The Illinois Chamber
of Commerce also issued a report stating that business investment
had fallen by $120 million. And guess what? Illinois lagged behind
the nation in job growth. The STAMP model proved to be extremely
accurate in assessing the budget's impact. Many of the Governor's
tax and fee hikes for FY 2005 were rejected by the General Assembly.
We believe a good deal of the credit belongs to BHI and Illinois-STAMP.
your staff has been very helpful in helping us analyze these increases
and he has offered some great guidance on how to best use the model.
BHI's leadership has been indispensable.
Illinois-STAMP exceeded all expectations and helped our young institution
gain valuable credibility in the halls of the Illinois Statehouse.
Thank you again for all of your help.