Media alert: Illinois House committee votes for $3.4 billion tax hike

May 21, 2019

Experts available to comment on the devastating effects of the progressive income tax

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (May 20, 2019) – The Illinois House could take a monumental vote as soon as May 22 to move Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s progressive income tax amendment to the ballot. If this amendment passes, it would allow for the nation’s highest income tax on businesses and create a bridge to tax hikes on middle-class Illinoisans.

Today, the House Revenue and Finance Committee voted 9-6, along party lines, to pass Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 1 to eliminate Illinois’ flat income tax protection.

Lawmakers need a three-fifths majority, or 71 votes, to pass the amendment. The House vote is the final step before the amendment could be put before voters in November 2020. At that point, 60% of those who vote on the amendment, or a majority of Illinoisans voting in the election, must vote “yes” in order for the amendment to take effect. After that, Illinois lawmakers would only need a simple majority to change or raise tax rates.

Experts from the nonpartisan Illinois Policy Institute are available for media interviews all week in Chicago, Springfield and across Illinois.

BACKGROUND:

  • 50 local government leaders and advocacy groups have signed on to an Illinois Policy petition opposing the progressive income tax.
  • Two Democratic state representatives have already voiced public opposition to the progressive income tax, citing need for property tax relief.
  • Polling results reveal voters do not approve of Gov. Pritzker’s proposal in key districts held by Democrats, including Reps. Mary Edly-Allen, Jonathan Carroll, Katie Stuart, Karina Villa, Monica Bristow, Sue Scherer and Terra Costa Howard.
  • Lawmakers face a looming May 31 deadline to pass a budget for 2020 and to finalize other important legislation. A progressive income would not take effect until the 2021 fiscal year and lawmakers have until May 3, 2020 to get it onto the ballot.
  • Typical property tax increases alone would wipe out Pritzker’s proposed income tax relief in the first year his plan would be allowed to take effect. In addition, tax hikes from Gov. Pritzker’s $41.5 billion capital plan would eliminate any potential savings from a progressive income tax.
  • Pritzker already walked back his promise to bring relief to 97% of taxpayers through his proposed tax rates, and refused to guarantee the middle class will not face tax hikes. He’s now facing a federal criminal investigation for not paying his own fair share in taxes.
  • Gov. Pritzker claims the new tax structure would raise an additional $3.4 billion. But Illinois Policy Institute estimates found Pritzker’s actual revenue would fall at least $1 billion short of his projections. Revenue from the new tax would hardly make a dent in Illinois’ billions in debt, let alone fund billions in new spending. No independent group has been able to recreate Pritzker’s revenue estimates.
  • In order to fully fund Pritzker’s promised spending, the typical Illinois family would be on the hook for a tax increase of up to $3,500, hitting middle-class Illinoisans with yet another tax hike.

For bookings or interviews, contact media@illinoispolicy.org or (312) 607-4977