February 10, 2014 – Wheaton, Illinois- Area members of the Illinois House Republican Caucus held a press conference on Monday, February 10th as part of a statewide effort against an ongoing attempt to raise taxes in Illinois.
State Rep. Jeanne Ives stated, “As legislators, we must work to fix Illinois’ problems without asking taxpayers, yet again, to forfeit more of their hard-earned money when there are already record revenues and we have failed to fix Illinois’ over-spending problem. This is the definition of throwing good money after bad. The people we serve deserve far better.”
These are the realities facing families in Illinois:
• Unemployment is more than two-percentage points higher than the national average
• Illinois has one of the highest property tax burdens in the country
• The median household income has declined by over 9% in the past three years
• Just over two years ago, the Democrat-led General Assembly passed the largest tax hike in the history of Illinois, promising to pay down unpaid state bills and get Illinois finances in order. Yet, despite record state tax record state revenue, there is still $7 billion in unpaid state bills, about the same amount that the state faced when the tax-hike was passed.
Now, Democrats expect taxpayers to swallow a plan that will not only make the temporary 2011 tax hike permanent, but also swap out Illinois constitutionally protected flat-rate income tax for a progressive income tax.
The truth is 31 of the 34 progressive tax states levy a higher marginal tax rate on $50,000 in household income than Illinois will in 2015. That’s not simply “taxing the rich” or making “the 1% pay its fair-share,” it is raising taxes AGAIN on the middle class.
David From, Illinois State Director of Americans for Prosperity, states, “The adoption of a progressive tax will threaten Illinois’ prosperity by giving politicians free reign to engage in class warfare of the type seen at the federal level and in states such as California, further destroying job creation and incentivizing the flight of businesses to more friendly states. As Illinois considers this change, our neighboring states, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa are debating tax cuts and finding ways to lower the tax burden on their residents.”
The reality is, taxes and tax policy matters. Iowa, Indiana and Wisconsin do not have growing populations because of their sports teams and theater districts. Bad policies are overcoming the state competitive advantages in transportation, natural resources and work force. The 2011 income tax increase has proven to be a job killer.
The progressive income tax is merely another money grab disguised as tax reform.
David From goes on to say, “It is clear by their policy proposals that some politicians do not believe higher taxes influence the locating and expansion decisions of job-creators and businesses, nor do they believe the tax burden plays a role in where families decide to live. But they are naïve if they believe that the weather is the only reason people are leaving the Land of Lincoln.”
Illinois has traditionally been the economic engine of America’s Heartland. Our neighboring states cannot compete with her resources or her workforce. Bad fiscal policies, however, are obscuring these advantages and destroying Illinois’ future.