Springfield, IL. State Senator Craig Wilcox is supporting a change to the State Constitution, requiring a supermajority vote before any tax increase or new tax is imposed.
Sen. Wilcox is co-sponsoring Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 12 (SJRCA12), which was unveiled Tuesday at the Capitol.
This proposal gives taxpayers a voice in the debate over higher and new taxes, said Wilcox (R-McHenry). Having broad-based support, such as two-thirds majority, helps protect taxpayers, giving them a stronger voice in how state government raises taxes.
SJRCA 12, filed by State Senator Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods), proposes an amendment to Illinois Constitution to prohibit the legislature from imposing or raising a state tax or fee except through legislation approved by a two-thirds supermajority vote in both the Senate and House of Representatives.
Currently, legislators only need a simple majority to pass a tax increase or to implement a new tax and Sen. Wilcox says Illinois taxpayers havent fared well under that standard.
Illinois is one of the top states in the nation for overall tax burden. This proposal will help protect the middle class taxpayers, which too often bears the brunt of higher taxes, said Wilcox.
The 32nd District Senator points to Illinois income tax hikes originally advertised as temporary, only to become permanent. The last time the state income tax hike was increased (by 32 percent) was 2018. The tax hikes were originally passed with simple majority votes.
As the General Assembly is currently comprised, the Senate and House could only raise taxes or create a new tax with 40 votes in the Senate and 79 votes in the House, said Wilcox.
Sen. Wilcox says a tougher standard for higher or new taxes will help stem the tide of an exodus of Illinois residents moving to other states. He also argues that it will force state government address its spending problem.
Springfield only seems to be able to talk about tax increases when trying to confront its self-created financial challenges, said Wilcox. Until spending is taken seriously, this proposed change to the State Constitution is the protection Illinois taxpayers need.
Fifteen states use a supermajority requirement to raise or implement new taxes. Similar proposals to SJRCA12 have been introduced in the past by Illinois legislators. To put SJRCA12 on the ballot in 2020, a three-fifths vote of the Senate and House is required. It also must be approved by a three-fifths vote of voters to become part of the State Constitution.