Ideas Illinois aims to educate voters ahead of Pritzker's progressive state income tax hike
After Gov. J.B. Pritzker proposed a temporary income tax hike, opponents are lining up to block what would be the state’s second income tax increase in two years.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Pritzker unveiled his proposal to correct Illinois’ $3.2 billion deficit by imposing an income tax system requiring higher taxes on higher-paid earners.
“It is not fair that I pay the same tax rate as a teacher, a child care worker, a police officer or a nurse,” Pritzker said, according to the Tribune.
However, as the Tribune pointed out, other aspects of Pritzker’s budget plan would hit lower-paid earners via taxes on plastic bags and cigarettes.
A release from Ideas Illinois predicts the latest budget is a temporary step before a full progressive income tax proposal in 2020. Opponents say the tax, which comes on the heels of the historic 32 percent income tax increase the General Assembly passed in 2017, is too great a burden for Illinois.
Jason Heffley, executive director of Ideas Illinois, told the Prairie State Wire his organization plans to launchia discussion to get residents talking about a fair counterproposal to a tax hike.
“I think Illinois needs to get its house in order and its spending under control before thinking about raising taxes again,” Heffley said.
Both Ideas Illinois and other conservative groups, such as the Illinois Policy Institute, have criticized the state’s tax situation, but Heffley said his group plans to up the ante before Pritzker’s expected progressive income tax proposal in 2020.
“We don’t have as of yet any specific proposals, but we plan to in the coming weeks and months,” Heffley said. “We want to launch a discussion among citizens that will get people thinking about the options.”
During the last two years, media reports covered the state’s nation-leading high tax burden, yet voters sent Pritzker, a proponent of progressive income tax, to the governor’s mansion. While some voters may be willing to pay more taxes if they get more services in return, Heffley said, that idea requires close scrutiny.
“That’s why we want to educate voters about the economics of such proposals,” he said. “I think they have to ask themselves that if they pay more, are they really getting more?”