Senator Jim Oberweis released the following statement May 1 after Senate Democrat leaders muscled through a constitutional amendment and legislation that sets rates for Governor J. B. Pritzker’s controversial plan to fundamentally change the state’s income tax system and increase taxes by an additional $3.4 billion per year.
“Senate Democrat leaders have certainly not wasted any time in forcing through Governor J.B. Pritzker’s controversial plan to fundamentally change the state’s income tax from a flat rate to a graduated rate,” Senator Oberweis said. “My Senate Republican colleagues and I voted ‘no’ because the plan has no guaranteed protections for middle-income families.
“Despite our many requests, Senate Democrat leaders have not answered our question: ‘What’s to prevent rates from being raised again in the future, especially rates for middle-income taxpayers?’ When the rates that were proposed just weeks ago have already been changed, it’s hard to trust these leaders, who have well-documented tax-and-spend mentalities, from continuing to hike your taxes,” Senator Oberweis said. “And our concerns are justified, based on recent data by the Tax Foundation in Washington D.C. The Foundation notes that over the last 20 years, states with flat taxes have reduced taxes 21 times, and increased taxes four times. In graduated states, over the same period of time, taxes have increased 24 times.”
Illinois’ state income tax is currently a flat 4.95 percent rate for all residents. Changing from a flat income tax to a graduated income tax requires amending the Illinois Constitution. If approved by lawmakers in both chambers, the Constitutional Amendment would need to be put to Illinois voters in the next general election, which would be November 2020.