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Column

GUEST COLUMN: Illinois will be fine without any tax increases

As legislative session winds down, the constitutional amendment debate heats up

Tony McCombie
Tony McCombie

As the Illinois legislative session comes to a close, the majority party is struggling to bring forth its legislative agenda announced in the governor’s address in February.

One proposal, the graduated income tax, has been getting a lot of airtime since the November election. In the next 2 weeks, House members will vote on whether to allow a constitutional amendment to change the Illinois income tax system. Many, including conservative and liberal think tanks, Republican and Democrat legislators, and informed and uninformed citizens all have strong opinions. Today, I am just giving you the facts.

Last week, Illinoisans received some rare good financial news: April tax receipts came in at $1.5 billion over estimates. The fiscal year 2019 budget gap was closed. Additionally, the Department of Revenue estimates $800 million higher revenues next April than previously predicted when Gov. Pritzker gave his February address.

According to the comptroller’s office, in 2020, Illinois’ bond payment will be approximately $1 billion less than this fiscal year, because the pension bonds borrowed during the Quinn administration will be paid off.

What does this mean for Illinois families? It means we can use this coming year’s revenues and decreased expenses to balance our budget. We do not need any tax increases.

However, government never seems to let the facts stand in the way of a tax increase. The administration continues to say that 97% of the people in Illinois will not see an increase in their taxes with a graduated income tax. Several Democrats, including Rep. Robert Martwick, D-Chicago, and even Gov. Pritzker himself, state there are “no guaranteed tax rates” and “no guarantee on future rates.” As a matter of fact, the administration has already amended the original proposed rates. With zero certainty in rates and by not specifying rates in the constitutional amendment, how can Illinoisans know if their rates will soar this year, or years down the road?

Sadly, if this graduated income tax is approved, Springfield Democrats will continue to divide and conquer the middle class to create new definitions of “rich.” I promise you, top income earners do not have enough income to feed the insatiable wants of our greedy government. Middle-income earners had better hide their wallets.

Heads of household, business owners and community leaders have to be creative and have a broader view to survive tough times and succeed. If you want to help Illinois, help Illinois grow. Do not give up and move across the border ... fight! Help put people in positions to establish better policies to lift people from poverty, to grow our businesses, lower our property taxes, appropriately fund our schools, and increase stability and security. Please join me and support Illinois by opposing the graduated income tax.

Note to readers: State Rep. Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, represents Illinois’ 71st District. She can be reached at 815- 632-7384, or by email at mccombie@ilhousegop.org.

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