House Reps. Patrick Windhorst (R-Harrisburg) and Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) held a press conference Tuesday to discuss the recent study by WalletHub that found Illinois has the highest overall taxes in the country.
Windhorst said that the tax burden in Illinois is 38.5 percent more than the national average.
"We are [last] overall and 39th in income [tax]," Windhorst said. "We are 50th in real estate and 25th in sales and excise taxes. We are first in vehicle property tax, but that's because we don’t have a vehicle property tax"
Rep. Patrick Windhorst (R-Harrisburg)
In short, Windhorst said, it has simply become too expensive for businesses and residents in the Prairie State.
"It’s too expensive to do business here," Windhorst said. "I ran for office because I saw so many people leave here. I’ve watched the politics play out over the last years."
Windhorst questioned when the Democrats were ever going to take a single action that will make it easier to do business, invest or grow jobs in Illinois.
"When is anyone in this state going to make this state competitive?" he asked.
Windhorst added that House Republicans have sponsored legislation to help grow the business community, including his own blue-collar jobs bill.
"[My bill] might never see the light of day because of politics," Windhorst said. "We need a better tax climate here. Citizens are maxed out when it comes to taxes and credit cards. We cannot rely on Chicago and our place in the Midwest forever. The money will go where it can grow."
Demmer said that it is important to keep an eye on the real world.
"Today, across Illinois, people are seeing reports that we are ranked dead last and that’s an important thing," Demmer said. "A lot of families see that every day. That's important news and it will be on a lot of news shows. That’s a conversation every day."
Demmer said the conversation under the dome is very different.
"It was kicked off by Gov. J.B. Pritzker saying, 'What can we do to raise an additional $3.4 billion in income taxes for Illinois?'" Demmer said. "There are even two different conversations about that specific proposal. Our duty is to inject realism into the debate that is here. We can’t ignore the tax burden. We have to get serious about making changes. We stand behind taxpayers and we stand ready to negotiate and work on bills that will do just that."