State Rep. Lou Lang proposes $2 billion tax increase

April 15, 2016

Illinois Policy Institute CEO says “Stop asking taxpayers to pay for lawmakers’ ineptitude”

CHICAGO (April 15, 2016) – Today, Democrat state Rep. Lou Lang introduced a bill he said would increase taxes in Illinois by $1.9 billion. This comes just one week after Senate President John Cullerton proposed tracking Illinois drivers to tax them by the mile, and on the heels of news Illinois lost 105,000 residents on net to other states in 2015 – the largest exodus in state history. 

The Illinois Policy Institute is staunchly against this tax increase proposal. CEO John Tillman issued the following statement in response: 

“If Illinois Democrats were as creative on pension, economic and labor reform as they are on taxes, Illinois’ budget crisis would be solved by now. Instead, they resort to the same old tactic over and over again: Raise taxes, waste money, delay reform, raise taxes again. 

“State Rep. Lou Lang’s proposal to increase taxes by $1.9 billion sends a clear message: Democrats want hard-working taxpayers to pay for their ineptitude. It’s doubly offensive because this proposal comes at a time when lawmakers have not even passed a state budget. How can they tell taxpayers they need more money without offering them an idea of how this money will be spent?

“Remember that in 2014, lawmakers attempted to implement a so-called ‘fair tax,’ which they claimed would only increase taxes on the ‘rich.’ The reality was the 2014 proposal would have increased taxes on anyone with more than $22,000 in taxable income. Rightly, this tax increase was rejected. Now the same crew of tax-hikers has come out with a new proposal they say will only raise taxes on those with more than $500,000 in income – but we know their real motive. They are trying to implement the same old tactic, just with a different sales pitch this time. 

“We know from Illinois’ own history that tax increases will not solve Illinois’ persistent financial problems. In 2011, Democrats enacted a tax increase that raised $31 billion in taxpayer dollars over five years. They claimed the cash infusion would help pay down the state’s backlog of bills and restore Illinois’ fiscal health. Instead, 90 cents out of every $1 from the tax increase went to pensions – a pension system these same Democrats refuse to reform. 

“Illinoisans already pay the second-highest property taxes in the nation, have one of the top total tax burdens in the nation, and businesses that employ taxpayers face steep barriers to success. Now the Democrats are proposing yet another tax increase to pay for their unwillingness to reform our state. It’s time for lawmakers to stop turning to taxpayers to bail them out, and to step up and enact the serious reforms this state needs.”

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