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Payback for rail taunts?

When the U.S. Department of Transportation reallocated $810 million in federal stimulus money that had been directed toward a Madison-to-Milwaukee high-speed rail line, the state of Illinois was giddy.

That’s because Illinois snagged $42 million of that for its own rail-related projects. And Wisconsin’s neighbor to the south was none too bashful about thanking Wisconsin for giving up the money.

Well, now it’s Wisconsin’s turn for giddiness.

The Illinois Legislature on Tuesday passed a 66 percent income tax hike. It took Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker only a few hours to pounce, recalling an old tourism campaign called “Escape to Wisconsin.”

“Today, we renew that call to Illinois business: ‘Escape to Wisconsin,'” Walker said this morning in a statement. “You are welcome here. Our talented workforce stands ready to help you grow and prosper.”

Walker added: “In these challenging economic times, while Illinois is raising taxes, we are lowering them.”

Methinks this border rivalry is nowhere near over.

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  1. Walker ought to follow a variation of the old carpenter’s adage: think twice, talk once. Per WDOR, Wisconsin’s income tax rates range from 4.6% up to 7.75% depending on filing status & income – Or in other words, for 90% plus of the state’s residents, we still pay higher income tax than Illinois, even after their 66% increase.

  2. Todd, you took the words right out of my mouth. It’s still cheaper to live in IL.

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