May 31, 2019

Statement from Illinois Policy Institute

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (May 30, 2019) – The Illinois House of Representatives voted 67-48-3 tonight to pass graduated income tax rates that would take effect should voters approve a constitutional amendment in November 2020 to eliminate Illinois’ flat income tax protection.

Lawmakers backing Senate Bill 687 claim these rates would raise $3.025 billion in new tax revenue, but research from the nonpartisan Illinois Policy Institute found they would bring in $1 billion to $2 billion less than projected.

Even the administration’s optimistic revenue estimates would fail to fulfill its stated goals of paying down a nearly $7 billion backlog of unpaid bills, chipping away at $134 billion in pension debt and funding billions in new spending on state services.

When revenue inevitably falls short, income tax rates will quickly need to be raised.

Adam Schuster, director of budget and tax research for the nonpartisan Illinois Policy Institute, offered the following statement: 

“Illinoisans have been sold a lie that these rates will provide tax relief for 97% of taxpayers across the state. It’s proven that the revenue doesn’t add up and that means lawmakers will soon hike taxes again, asking all Illinoisans to pay more. 

“Taxpayers should be skeptical. These rates aren’t written into the constitution and are easier for lawmakers to change. There’s zero assurance they will stay as promised. Given the size of our fiscal problems and the lack of serious spending reform, every sign points to future tax hikes under this plan.”