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A money changer inspects U.S. dollar bills at a currency exchange in Manila January 15, 2014. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco A money changer inspects U.S. dollar bills at a currency exchange in Manila January 15, 2014. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco  

Democratic Governors Raise Taxes By Nearly $60 Billion

A report by Americans for Tax Reform finds that since 2011, Democratic governors have signed $58 billion in tax increases.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn was the biggest tax-hiker of them all, placing more than $27 billion worth of taxes on Illinois residents.

Coming in a distant second was Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who has approved $3 billion in taxes since 2011, and more than $11 billion since 2008, researchers found.

The tax increases came from a variety of different sources, including O’Malley’s death certificate fee increase, which cost taxpayers $1.4 million, and Quinn’s storm water management fees — also known as the “rain tax” — costing Illinois residents more than $512 million.

Excise taxes in general were a particularly lucrative source of government revenue. Quinn’s tobacco tax cost Illinois residents over $1 billion and O’Malley’s duty on the sale of alcoholic beverages placed nearly $260 million in additional fees on state taxpayers.

Quinn’s increases in the corporate and income tax rates have also helped earned Illinois the title of one of the worst states to do business, according to a recent survey by Chief Executive Magazine.

With California Gov. Jerry Brown raising both the state’s sales and income taxes, it was also ranked on of the country’s worst business climates.

While Democratic governors were busy signing off more taxes, Republican state leaders made efforts to pass tax cuts.

During the same time period that Democratic governors hiked taxed by $58 billion, Republican governors approved $36 billion in tax cuts.

The low-tax environment created by Republican leadership has won many red states the reputation of being friendly havens for businesses.

In the same study, which labeled Illinois an inhospitable state for businesses, Texas, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana, Arizona, Nevada and Louisiana – all governed by Republicans – were rated as the best states for businesses big and small.

While many Democrats raised taxes in their states, there were a few anomalies. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved a corporate tax cut this year.

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