Deputy Republican Leader Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) joined a few of his colleagues today in calling for an end to the barrage of tax increases that earned Illinois the new title of “highest tax burden state in the nation.”
A recent WalletHub.com study found Illinois ranks 51st when it comes to the tax burden placed on families. At a Capitol press conference, Demmer said legislators need to get on the same page as the residents they represent. “The conversations Illinois families are having at the dinner table are very different from the conversations happening here in Springfield under the dome,” said Demmer. “Families are talking about the new report that says Illinois ranks dead last in taxpayer burden; that we have the largest tax burden on a median family of any state or the District of Columbia. But here under the dome, the conversation centers around how we can raise $3.4 billion in additional income taxes from families and businesses.”
Demmer said lawmakers must take serious steps to reverse the over-taxation crisis. “As legislators, it is our duty and obligation to inject some realism into the debates that happen here,” Demmer said. “We can’t simply ignore that we have the highest taxpayer burden in the nation, and we can’t ignore that fact that people are leaving Illinois in record numbers. We can’t ignore that better opportunities and economic growth is occurring in states all around us. We need to get serious about making some changes to how Illinois does business, and provide meaningful tax relief to individuals. We need to provide better opportunities for families and make Illinois a place where jobs and investments can grow.”
The WalletHub study found that Illinoisans’ median tax rate is 14.9%, where the national average is 10.76%. Demmer said Governor Pritzker’s graduated income tax plan would make it even easier for Democrats to raise taxes on Illinois families. “The Pritzker proposal is to take the flat tax protection out of the Illinois Constitution,” Demmer added. “What that does is open up the tax rates to continued interference by lawmakers. If approved, forever more, the General Assembly will no longer be bound by a flat tax mandate in the Constitution. The question isn’t, ‘what is the initial rate schedule.’ The question is, ‘can Illinoisans count on politicians in Springfield to do the right thing and not overtax.’ The answer, without a doubt, is ‘no.’ With a graduated income tax, it will be too easy for lawmakers to come back year after year and take a little bit more from taxpayers until we end up with a significantly-increased burden on average families.”
Demmer said the House Republican Caucus stands ready to work collaboratively on bills that ease the tax burden and move Illinois away from its status as the highest taxed state in the nation.