House GOP: 'We can’t tax our way to prosperity'
Several House Republicans recently spoke out in opposition of the graduated income tax that Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker has been pushing since before he took office last November.
Freshman House representatives held a press conference to say that Illinois needs more jobs, not more taxes. Rep. Blaine Wilhour (R-Effingham) said that Democrats consider raising taxes as the brave thing to do.
"Our friends on the other side of the aisle see raising taxes as an act of courage," Wilhour said at the press conference. "The real act of courage would be to deal with real and substantial issues. We have to become more fiscally responsible. We need to have conversations about reforming pensions."
Wilhour said the bottom line is that the graduated income tax amendment is a blank check from the taxpayers to Springfield politicians.
"Until we get our act together, we shouldn’t be asking for more money from taxpayers," he said. "We can’t tax our way to prosperity."
Rep. Tom Weber (R-Fox Lake) said that Republicans need to stand together in solidarity against the graduated tax proposal.
"Democrats and the governor are looking to take more from taxpayers," Weber said. "This is a serious issue and a blank check is not the answer."
"The state needs to better prioritize its spending," added Rep. Mike Murphy (R-Springfield).
Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 1 passed the House on Monday with 73 Yes votes and 44 No votes. It will now be on the November 2020 ballot for Illinois voters to decide.
Every single Republican voted no on the bill and many businesses and individuals have spoken out against a graduated income tax structure. Critics suggest that because rates are not nailed down in the amendment, the tax will eventually become a burden carried by the middle class.
Pritzker has been adamant about his preference for a "fair tax" since running for governor last year.