Senator Chuck Weaver released the following statement May 1 after Senate Democrat leaders muscled through a constitutional amendment and legislation that sets rates for Gov. 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.
“The vote by Senate Democrat leaders today to force through Governor J.B. Pritzker’s controversial progressive income tax plan clearly shows the stark differences in their economic approach … and ours,” Senator Weaver said. “Democrat leaders continue to ask for new spending. Instead of pursuing the common-sense reforms needed to attract jobs and businesses to Illinois, Democrat leaders are back asking for more money from taxpayers.
“Senate Republican lawmakers voted against the plan today because it has no guaranteed protections for middle-income families. Many of you share my concerns. Governor Pritzker’s proposed tax increase is estimated to raise $3.4 billion. With around $10 billion having been proposed by the Governor on the campaign trail, the math just doesn’t work,” Senator Weaver said. “Without adequate protections for middle-income families, taxpayers and citizens of this state have good reason to be concerned.”
In a March 15 newsletter, Weaver’s office asked: “Since his proposed tax increase will not raise the income needed by Governor Pritzker, do you think Springfield will come back to tax middle-income taxpayers?” Not surprisingly, 89.36 percent of the respondents said they think the state will come back to tax middle-income taxpayers.
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.