By Steve Gunn
SPRINGFIELD, Ill – It comes as no surprise that Illinois labor unions are planning a rude reception for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker when he arrives to address the state Chamber of Commerce next week.
Groups like the American Federation of Teachers and the AFL-CIO say they plan to “Un-welcome Scott Walker” outside the Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Springfield on Tuesday. We sure it will a typically ugly Big Labor temper tantrum that will embarrass the majority of Illinois residents.
But officials from the Illinois chamber say they’re happy to have Walker, because many perceive him to be a strong leader who inherited a huge deficit in his state, balanced the budget in rapid order, and changed the laws so schools can spend more on students and less on expensive perks for employees without union interference.
Illinois taxpayers will probably be interested in what Walker has to say, as well. That’s because his administration announced Monday that property taxes for typical homeowners in Wisconsin have decreased for the first time in 12 years. That means Wisconsin has found a governor who can balance a state budget without sending the bill to the hard-working people of the state.
“Our reforms have reversed a decade of property tax increases from previous administrations,” a press release from the Walker administration said. “For the first time in over 10 years, the average property taxpayer will have more money in his or her pocket than the year before.”
That’s big news in a state where average citizens have been soaked with huge property tax increases for years, largely to continue to cover skyrocketing salaries and benefits for teachers and other members of public sector unions.
We hear that some Wisconsin unions have even posted information on their websites in the past, suggesting that their retirees relocate to other states with less burdensome property taxes. That will be less of a concern for retirees and all Wisconsin residents now.
And just think, the Wisconsin unions are trying to throw Walker out of office. A lot of disgusted taxpayers around America would be thrilled to have a governor delivering this sort of news.
So the Illinois unions can go ahead and protest Walker’s presence in their state. They can continue to call for tax increases on overburdened citizens to pay for their overpriced collective bargaining agreements. We’d be willing to bet that a lot of average Illinois citizens are interested in the thoughts of a leader who had the courage to take on the entrenched special interests and save precious dollars for the majority of people in Wisconsin.
Read more about the situation at the Illinois Review.