Pritzker's proposed spending would cost billions, research group warns
Gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker’s campaign promises could lead to billions of dollars in spending by the state of Illinois, according to Wirepoints.
According to the online research publication, the promises that Pritzker has made during the campaign would cost in excess of $10 billion.
“Pritzker wants to increase Illinois’ annual budget by at least $10.7 billion, spending billions more on everything from education to health care and from pensions to roads,” Wirepoints president Ted Dabrowski wrote in a media release.
“No matter how you run the numbers, the progressive tax rates needed to fund Pritzker’s $10 billion-plus in promises would be harmful. They’ll punish the wallets of both the middle class and the wealthy,” he added.
The quesiton of what Pritzker has planned has been raised since he annouced plans for a progressive tax but has declined to release details. Therefore, Wirepoints decided to try and figure out what such a tax would look like.
“We took estimates of Pritzker’s promised spending plans from the media and combined it with Illinois’ income tax data,” their article stated.
“No matter how you run the numbers, the progressive tax rates needed to fund Pritzker’s $10 billion-plus in new spending would be harmful. They’ll punish the wallets of both the middle class as well as the wealthy,” they wrote.
The article noted that among his promises, Pritzker has said he will not target middle or working class residents with his progressive tax scheme.
However, Dabrowski noted that a tax increase on wealthy Illinoisans would not bring in enough to cover the spending that has been proposed.
“There are simply not enough wealthy people in Illinois to do so,” he stated.
“It would take marginal rates higher than California’s top rate of 13.3 percent – the highest in the nation – to get the revenues that Pritzker’s promises require. Not many wealthy Illinoisans will stick around to pay such exorbitant rates,” according to the article.
As part of the project, the Wirepoints publication presented three scenarios that would fulfill Pritzler’s promises. These include one where only the weathiest are taxed, a second where only those making more than $150,000 are forced into paying more tax, and a third option where residents earning more than $50,000 pay more.
“If a progressive tax structure only raised taxes on the truly wealthy – just those with incomes of $1 million or more a year – then Illinois’ top tax income rate would have to reach an absurd 24.3 percent to generate Pritzker’s $10.7 billion in new revenues. That’s almost double California’s top rate of 13.3 percent,” the authors wrote. “Obviously Pritzker would never propose something so extreme.”
The second plan would see those earning over $150,000 pushed into a 13.6 percent tax bracket. Again, as the article points out, that is more than California’s top rate.
In the third scenario, there would need to be a progressive tax increase on income over and above $50,000.
“Additional income between $50,000 and $75,000 would be taxed at a 8.5 percent rate,” the article stated. “And additional income between $75,000 and $150,000 would be taxed at an 9 percent rate. The marginal rates only go up from there, reaching 11.2 percent in the top bracket, the second highest top rate in the nation after California’s 13.3 percent.”
For more on the Wirepoints analysis of Pritzker’s promises, visit their website.