Fact check: Amendment 1 boosts taxes, not economy

Fact check: Amendment 1 boosts taxes, not economy

A new ad funded by government unions is claiming Amendment 1 would boost wages and the economy without any numbers to back it up or mention of the property tax hikes to come.

Government unions are funding a new ad claiming Amendment 1 would boost the economy, but there are no economics to support “how” it would do so or mention of the property tax drain it would guarantee.

The ad focuses on a construction worker grateful for his new job, claiming Amendment 1 will create similar jobs in Illinois.

“We need more jobs like this in Illinois, especially with costs going up across the board. The Workers’ Rights Amendment will keep more jobs like this in Illinois,” the worker says.

Amendment 1 expands bargaining power exclusively for government workers, but how does that create more construction jobs? Federal law governs collective bargaining in the private sector, so changing the Illinois Constitution does nothing to boost trade union power. It would boost the power of government union bosses, which means 7% of working adults might be affected by the question at the top of the Nov. 8 ballot.

The ad gives no explanation for the claim. It also doesn’t mention how taxpayers would fund the new demands from government unions.

According to their own reports, Illinois’ government unions spend very little on representing workers – their main purpose. The largest Illinois government unions spend no more than 35% representing their members.

Government unions prioritize politics, leadership salaries and other union boss priorities over their main purpose: representing workers.

The ad is right about rising costs: the average Illinois family pays more than $4,000 in additional taxes since Gov. J.B. Pritzker took office. Of that, $2,228 comes from property tax hikes because the cost of government pensions keep rising.

Approving Amendment 1 would bring more property tax pain. One conservative estimate is Amendment 1 would virtually guarantee higher property taxes of more than $2,100 during the next four years, simply by maintaining Illinois’ status quo. Should government union bosses exercise new powers granted through Amendment 1, the tax hike on Illinoisans could wind up being far more costly.

Whether Amendment 1 can create jobs is arguable, but higher property taxes can create jobs – in Illinois’ moving van industry.

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