Republican Illinois State Treasurer candidate Jim Dodge thinks Springfield needs a certain type of lawmaker to have any real chance of turning the state around.
“We need public servants willing to tell the truth -- the truth about the real costs of political promises that have already been made and the cost of the promises that will be made," Dodge told the Prairie State Wire.
Dodge points to the recent 32 percent income tax hike as the primary example in his argument. In the months since the act became law, job growth across the state has lagged behind where it has traditionally been, according to the Illinois Policy Institute (IPI).
“This is the very real impact of bad tax policy,” Dodge said. “Not only do we pay too much from our paychecks, but property taxes are ridiculous. These bad decisions in Springfield have a devastating effect on the individuals, families and small businesses all across Illinois. Springfield has made Illinois a hostile environment to job creators, and it is the people of Illinois who are paying the price for these policies.”
Illinois has averaged an annual jobs growth of 1.11 percent since the end of the Great Recession in 2009. However, in the year since the tax hikes went into effect, employment growth declined by 34 percent while the rest of the country has remained steady, according to IPI.
“The fleecing of taxpayers by the special interests and the political class relies on a system where average Illinoisans aren't told the truth about how policy decisions in Springfield will affect them and their neighbors,” Dodge said.
Illinois has also experienced population loss for the fourth straight year, with the prime working-age leading the exodus, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. Government data highlights that Illinois’ prime working-age population has declined 5 percent while the national average among the same demographic has grown 1.4 percent.
“We also need fundamental tax reform,” Dodge said. “Reform that puts money back into the pockets of Illinois taxpayers, grows our economy and creates high-paying 21st-century jobs.”