DIXON – Tom Demmer, a Republican candidate for state representative, wants to repeal last year’s state income tax increase.
But he said he declined to sign a pledge against all tax hikes.
On Wednesday, Demmer, 26, of Dixon, took questions from Sauk Valley Media in an interview that was livestreamed on its website.
SVM attempted to arrange a debate between Demmer and his Democratic opponent in the 90th District, Tom Boken of DeKalb, but Boken didn’t respond to a number of invitations.
Last year, legislators hiked the individual tax rate from 3 percent to 5 percent. They called it temporary.
Demmer said he wanted to end that increase, saying the state needed to work to create a better environment for business. He said he couldn’t envision any circumstances in which he would support extending the tax hike.
At the same time, he said he has declined to take the pledge against any tax increases that is pushed by anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist.
“You don’t take anything off the table,” Demmer said.
At the federal level, nearly all Republicans have signed the pledge. Demmer said he pledges to represent his constituents’ interests.
In the Legislature, some Republicans and Democrats want to shift the state’s pension liability for teachers to local school districts. They say that would give the districts incentive to contain the rising expenditures.
Demmer opposes the proposal. The state, he said, won’t solve its financial mismanagement by passing it down the chain.
“Local school districts already have significant requirements,” he said.
Asked about calls to eliminate township government, Demmer said he wouldn’t treat the issue with a “broad brush.”
For rural residents, he said, townships may be their one tie to government. At the same time, city dwellers may not see the need for townships, he said.
On other issues, Demmer supported allowing concealed carrying of weapons and generally opposed subsidies for wind energy because of their interference in the free market.
Watch it again
Miss Wednesday's live interview with Tom Demmer, Republican candidate for state representative in the 90th District? You can watch it in full by clicking here.
What's on tonight
Sauk Valley Media meets with state Rep. Rich Morthland, Republican candidate in the 71st House District, at 5:30 p.m. today. Watch it live at saukvalley.com.
Election info online
For Q&As with candidates, and bios and maps for all of the races in the Nov. 6 general election, go to saukvalley.com and click on "Election Central 2012."