Fact check: Pritzker’s proposed tax ‘relief’ only temporary

Fact check: Pritzker’s proposed tax ‘relief’ only temporary

Illinois Gov. J.B Pritzker’s latest campaign boast is how he’s providing relief for families, but none of it is permanent. He created much of the problem, and all the tax relief he’s proposing would expire after the election.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he is worried about Illinois families, but a closer look at his campaign rhetoric shows he’s trying to offer weak relief to problems he created for those families.

“Right now, Illinois families are feeling the crunch of rising costs for food and gas and property taxes. Government ought to do what we can to reduce that burden,” he tweeted Feb. 23.

His “reduction” is in his newest budget. He is offering temporary tax relief for families, but has done nothing for long-term reform.

Pritzker is proposing a one-time, $300 property tax rebate. Property taxes in Illinois are driven up by the worst-in-the-nation pension crisis. Without action on pension reform, a one-time rebate makes little difference.

He’s also pushing for a one-year suspension of the motor fuel tax increase. Even with the suspension, Illinoisans pay the second-highest gas taxes in the country. They got that way because Pritzker doubled the gas tax to 38 cents from 19 cents in 2019 to fund $45 billion in infrastructure spending that is riddled with pork. He also built in an automatic inflation adjustment that has pushed the tax up to 39.2 cents, meaning all he’s temporarily giving up is the next increase of a fraction of a penny per gallon.

Inflation has outpaced wages in Illinois, leading to diluted purchasing power. After Pritzker’s proposed tax relief ends in 2023, inflation will still plague families with rising prices.

To make an impact on families’ wallets, permanent tax relief must be the highest priority so jobs are created and property taxes stop eating home values. Illinois Forward 2023, a five-year plan developed by Illinois Policy Institute experts, balances state debt without depending on tax hikes and opens the door for long-term tax relief.

Temporary relief from problems created by or made worse by Pritzker is not how to help families.

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