Illinoisans ready for tax-hike sunset

Illinoisans ready for tax-hike sunset

With Illinois taxpayers just one year away from the income-tax rate sunset, the push from tax hungry politicians to raise rates again is growing. State politicians are using scare tactics to dupe Illinoisans into paying higher taxes. Their goal is to make the temporary 2011 income tax hike permanent, or worse: increase taxes again with...

With Illinois taxpayers just one year away from the income-tax rate sunset, the push from tax hungry politicians to raise rates again is growing. State politicians are using scare tactics to dupe Illinoisans into paying higher taxes. Their goal is to make the temporary 2011 income tax hike permanent, or worse: increase taxes again with a progressive income tax.

The “facts” that tax hike proponents are using to support a progressive tax hike in Illinois are often far from the truth. For example, state Rep. Mike Smiddy argued that when the 2011 tax hike sunsets in 2015, “it leaves a $7.2 billion hole in the budget.”

That’s simply not true.

According the Gov. Pat Quinn’s most recent budget projections, Illinois’ revenue for the current fiscal year is expected to total $36.4 billion. The revenue forecast for 2016, the first full fiscal year of the sunset, is expected to total $32.8 billion. That’s an annual loss of roughly $3.6 billion – nowhere near the fictional and misleading $7.2 billion figure Smiddy used.

As for the argument that Illinoisans should vote on the tax hike first and then have legislators decide on the rates? That’s all part of their game, too.

Not committing to tax rates is a strategic move. It allows tax-hikers to sell their proposal as something it isn’t. Letting lawmakers decide on the tax rates later is sort of like buying a car and letting the dealer name the price after the deal is signed. The buyer never knows what they’ll end up paying.

It’s time for lawmakers to be open and honest about what the progressive tax really is – a government money grab. Tax-hike advocates are using “tax fairness” as the sales pitch, but the progressive tax is just an attempt to replenish state government’s coffers and avoid real spending reform.

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