Southern Illinois called hit hard by tax hikes, with no hope in sight
When it comes to the big issues facing residents in his area, Dr. Paul Jacobs keeps hearing the same thing: It was taxes yesterday, it's taxes today, and it's going to be taxes tomorrow.
The Carbondale Reporter caught up with Jacobs recently to discuss his run against Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) in the 115th District. One of his first concerns was the record-setting 32 percent state income tax hike established this summer.
“People were very interested in this tax hike,” Jacobs said. “They're starting to find more problems with it.”
Jacobs pointed out that his district includes some of the poorest counties in the state, but while they're getting taxed more, they're not getting any more money from the state; in fact, many are getting less.
Jacobs said he has spoken with quite a few patients at his optometry practice about what affects them in Illinois politics. He has also been to a few local parades recently to promote his campaign.
A lot of what he hears, Jacobs says, resonates with his own conviction that big changes are needed to save Illinois municipalities.
“We can't keep going down the same path,” Jacobs said.
For example, he said some reasonable changes could help save municipalities from bankruptcy caused by pension debt. He also argued that government officials need to stick to their budgets.
Citing a high number of people and businesses leaving the state, Jacobs said the goal is to try to save Illinois neighborhoods from financial ruin and make them more attractive places to live.
He also believes citizens should hold politicians accountable for their decisions.
“Hold their feet to the fire,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs, who was born in Highland Park, runs two businesses: his medical practice and a vineyard called Von Jakob Vineyard in Alto Pass. A military veteran, Jacobs has degrees from Prince George’s College and the Southern College of Optometry.
The 115th District includes the counties of Jackson, Jefferson, Washington, Perry and Union.