Senator Chuck Weaver was one of four lawmakers who talked with Chicago leaders April 15 about the Constitutional Amendment proposed by Governor J.B. Pritzker to fundamentally change the state’s income tax system from a flat rate structure to a progressive rate structure.
Senator Weaver joined State Senator Elgie Sims (D-Chicago), Representative David McSweeney (R-Cary) and Representative Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) in the City Club of Chicago’s panel discussion about “Graduated Income Tax: What does it mean for Illinois?”
Senator Weaver says the progressive income tax proposal is more like an introductory cable offer to get people to vote to remove the flat tax limits, and he believes the end result will be higher taxes on middle-income families.
“Illinois has highest tax rates in the country. We have a serious spending problem, not a revenue problem. The progressive tax makes it even easier for Illinois to tax middle-income families,” Senator Weaver said. “Illinois needs the discipline that the flat tax in the current Constitution offers.”
The 37th District Senator also warned that state government’s continued reliance on tax-and-spend policies, as well as its past track record in overspending, will continue to drive individuals and businesses from Illinois.
“I believe changing the Constitution and making it easier to raise taxes will only encourage more people and jobs to leave our state. It is happening downstate already,” said Senator Weaver.
On April 10, the majority party in the Senate advanced out of committee a proposed progressive income tax that provides no protections for middle-income families and would give those lawmakers the ability to raise taxes in the future.
Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment #1 (SJRCA #1) will place a referendum on the 2020 General Election ballot asking voters if they support moving Illinois from a flat tax to a progressive tax structure. And while the measure advancing in the Senate deals with putting the question on the ballot, there is no legislation that would limit future tax increases.
The City Club of Chicago is a non-profit, non-partisan organization whose members include prominent business, civic and government leaders in Chicago. Founded in 1903, it is the longest-running civic forum in Chicago.