Fundraising ideas: Taxes on tacks, faxes

Last week, as you may or may not recall, my journey through life included a game of Spin the Car. I am going to blame that incident for what follows.

Something more profound than an ice-induced motor car adventure happened last week in the Land of Lincoln.

Illinois legislators, in their infinite wisdom, decided to increase our state income tax by approximately 12,000 percent.

The action was needed because Illinois has a budget deficit of approximately 89 billion trillion gazillion dollars, which, in dog dollars, is something like. . .oh, never mind.

I'm not going to get into the philosophy of an income tax increase, mainly 'cause I'm guessing you folks couldn't care less what I think about such things.

I will suggest, though, that our legislators were less than creative about ways to generate more revenue for our cash-strapped state. How hard was it to just raise a tax rate?

I suppose it's a good sign that the legislature finally did something about a problem which has been simmering for several years. Who knows, maybe they'll tackle property tax reform next. Nah.

Last Friday morning, some of us were sitting around at The Salt Mine and all by ourselves came up with a whole bunch of ways the State of Illinois could raise more money.

For example, we could start a new lottery game, with all of the revenue going to the deficit. The Illinois lottery generates much-needed money for education. Look how well that has worked.

How 'bout some other creative ways to raise money:

•A 50/50 raffle. Everybody does these. Imagine the kind of money somebody could win. And winners always give their prize money to the charity which benefits from the raffle. And what better basket case, um, charity case than the State of Illinois.

•A bake sale. Illinois is home to something like 13 million people. Certainly, some of them know how to bake some really good brownies.

•A fund-raising collection at the 4-way stop in downtown Anna. I know, the city doesn't allow such things to happen anymore. Maybe the rules could be changed.

•Extortion. Oops. That's not anything new. . .in Illinois.

•Institute a road kill tax. Run into Bambi, you pay a tax. Run over a skunk, you pay a tax, which just stinks.

•Parking meters. Put 'em in driveways. Put 'em everywhere where there aren't any. Driveways. At the end of gravel roads. Next to that local farm pond where all of the big fish are caught.

•A pothole maintenance levy. Run over a pothole, destroy a tire and rim or two, pay a tax, in addition to whatever you get to pay for repairs, which I guess already are taxed.

•A levee levy. Levy a levy on the levees, Levi. Similarly, tax tacks, to the max, especially the tackier of tacks, which would face a more taxing tax. Taxophone saxophones. Furthermore, tax taxis, tax texting (which would make texting taxing) and levy taxes on faxes (which would make faxing taxing). Charge a pox tax, a sox tax, a lox tax, a smocks tax, an ox tax, an ax tax, a box tax, a jacks tax, a backs tax and a tax for bad syntax. And don't let anybody get lax on paying their tax, Jack.

•Charge a fee to everyone from Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky and Indiana who pays a visit to Illinois. The governors of a couple of those states have said they want to take advantage of the Illinois income tax increase to lure businesses out of the Land of Lincoln. Gee, with neighbors like that. . .

•Tax journalists. By the word. Only, kidding folks. Only kidding. Journalists take vows of poverty when they begin their careers.


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