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Seven Republicans took the podium at an impromptu press conference on Tuesday to reject yet another Democrat-imposed tax hike.
Leading the GOP pack in opposition to the graduated income tax proposed in SR1590, Sen. Michael Connelly (R-Wheaton) cited the birth of the flat tax in the 1970 Constitutional Convention, saying it was imposed for purposes of certainty and predictability.
“Going away from that would be an unmitigated disaster,” Connelly said.
Last year, the Democrats imposed a heavy tax burden and now they are imposing another hike, Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) said. The Republican Senate Leader said the majority's present actions could cost the state a very profitable future by scaring away Amazon as it considers opening a second headquarters in Illinois.
“We know that Jeff Bezos cares deeply about tax policy and the families his company employs,” Brady said of Amazon's owner. “If the Democrats continue to threaten the graduated hike, it is going to put that at risk.”
Sen. Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles) asked what the difference between Illinois and other states is.
“Let’s see, we have more units of government than other states; we have some of the highest property taxes in the country; and we have the worst-funded pension obligations,” McConnaughay said answering her own question.
After McConnaughay said the only way Democrats attempt to solve problems is by raising taxes and kicking the can down the road, which will continue to cause the middle-class to leave the state, Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) used California as an example of a graduated tax reality.
“Soon, you are going to see a creep down to the middle-class; and as you have seen in California, the middle-class, which is the largest income taxpayer in the state, will be sharing the burden of the cost of government in the state of Illinois,” Rezin said.
Getting right to the point, Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) addressed the majority nerve.
“You are not even a single fiscal year complete since the tax increase went into effect, and they want another one," Rose said. "I mean how much is enough?”
Taking the microphone, Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) said middle-class families are seeing their paychecks slighted more and more.
“We haven’t even seen where we are going and you are looking at adding on an increase that we don’t know the amount of,” Tracy said.
Tracy said she governs a bordering district and every day she witnesses businesses moving to Iowa and Missouri. Like Brady, Sen. Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria) brought up the risk of losing Amazon to a tax-friendly state, and “milk and honey” cannot happen until good decisions are made.
“The reality is you can’t say to Gov. Rauner, 'where is the milk and honey?’ when the exact opposite is happening from what he is trying to sell,” Weaver said, adding that his Republican peers must continue to fight against the majority