Pressure is mounting on lawmakers in Springfield to go along with a “compromise”
budget plan that would raise income taxes on every Illinoisan. Illinois Senate
President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, and Minority Leader Christine Radogno,
R-Lemont, have thrown their support behind a proposed budget plan that would
raise state income taxes to 4.95 percent from the current level of 3.75 percent.
These rates could get even higher, since Senate leaders have not agreed to cap
the increase. That means the state income tax could very well hit an all-time
high of 5.25 percent, if the plan passes. The new tax rate would be even higher
than the 2011 temporary income tax rate, which did not solve Illinois’
fundamental fiscal problems. And unlike the 2011 tax increase, this proposed
income tax hike has no sunset provision, making it permanent.
Yet, a number of lawmakers promised not to raise taxes.
Americans for Tax Reform, a taxpayer advocacy group, maintains an active pledge
for lawmakers across the country to sign. The pledge states that the signer will
agree to not vote for or support any new taxes or tax hikes. The pledge has
proved popular among candidates and officeholders across federal, state and
local levels of government with signatures from over 1,400 elected officials.
The following Illinois state senators have also signed the pledge:
- Tim Bivins, R-Dixon
- Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon
- Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove
- Dave Syverson, R-Rockford
- Bill Brady, R-Bloomington
- Sue Rezin, R-Morris
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The state senators who signed this pledge should remember they
were not making a promise to Americans for Tax Reform, but rather to
Illinois taxpayers. Illinois already has one of the largest combined
tax burdens in the country, and the last thing middle-and
working-class Illinoisans need at this point is yet another tax
An income tax hike would only hurt residents and accelerate
Illinois’ already worst in the Midwest out-migration crisis. From
2011 to 2013 ̶ after the 2011 income tax increase ̶ Illinois
experienced a net loss of 200,000 people and $10 billion in taxable
income to out-migration. On top of the losses to out-migration, the
income tax hike did not solve the pension crisis, debt crisis or
bill backlog, as politicians and special interest groups advocating
for the tax promised.
These state senators were not coerced into signing the pledge, but
did it because they knew the last thing their constituents needed
was more of their income taken. Cash-strapped Illinoisans should not
have to fork over more of their hard-earned dollars for the same
services they were paying for before because of the serial mistakes
Springfield lawmakers made. The signers of this pledge should make
good on their promise and refuse to go along with any plan that
would raise the state income tax.
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