House Republicans speak out against graduated income tax
The House Republican caucus held a press conference Wednesday to announce their opposition of Gov. J.B. Pritzker's idea of a "fair tax" for Illinois. Reps. Avery Bourne (R-Raymond), Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville), Keith Wheeler (R-North Aurora) and Tim Butler (R-Springfield) were in attendance.
Bourne said House Republicans filed House Resolution 153 to oppose the graduated income tax.
"Our current tax structure, our caucus believes, is one of Illinois' last competitive advantages that we have," Bourne said. "It provides inherent protections. Our current structure provides long-term stability."
Bourne said that in Pritzker's recent budget address, the governor stated three-fourths of U.S. states have graduated rates, but what he failed to mention is that those states all top out at $60,000.
"Six of those states have a flat tax for under the poverty level," Bourne said."Illinois has the highest tax burden in the midwest."
Wehrli said a graduated income tax is not the answer for a fiscally burdened state.
"It's the wrong thing at the wrong time," Wehrli said. "It puts another cloud over Illinois."
Pritzker wants to institute what he is calling a "fair tax." The governor has proposed changing the state's constitution to include a graduated income tax that would mean higher taxes for those who make more money. The existing law is for a flat tax.
To get that constitutional amendment question to voters, supermajorities in both chambers must pass the measure. Democrats have supermajorities in both the House and Senate, according to Illinois News Network.
The resolution states that a graduated income tax would create added burdens as well as dissuade economic prosperity.
"Illinois lawmakers, now more than ever, must act in order to ensure that the best days for Illinoisans are ahead of us; the time of kicking the proverbial can down the road is over, and the time of inaction has passed and is no longer a convenient option," the resolution states.