Sen. Sue Rezin
State Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, walked away from Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s recent budget address with an uneasy feeling.
“It just sounded like he’s setting the stage for yet another new tax,” Rezin told the Illinois Valley Times. “That’s really unfortunate given we just enacted the largest income tax in state history and now here we go again. Democrats continue to raise taxes as an answer to everything that comes along.”
Pritzker dedicated much of his speech before the General Assembly to his long expressed support for a progressive tax to replace the state’s current flat tax system. And while the governor has insisted the new tax will only mean higher rates for the state’s most well-to-do, experience tells Rezin something totally different.
“Everybody knows anytime you raise taxes, ultimately the people it hurts the most are the middle class,” she said. "Eventually, it slows down investments in jobs and companies.”
Rezin added many of the states that have taken the leap in enacting progressive tax system have lived to regret it.
“Look at those states,” she said. “They’ve all struggled after changing to that kind of structure because the tax has not done what it's advertised to do.”
In California, expected revenues from the tax were nearly cut in half after wealthy residents bolted en masse, while Connecticut residents have suffered through a steady stream of rising income- and property-tax rates that have cost the state more than $10 billion and 360,000 jobs.
Out of the $42 billion budget proposal, Pritzker has pegged roughly $1.5 billion of it to come from his new tax.
Rezin argues that a gamble she’s not willing to take.
“Relying on the governor’s massive tax increase to cover the $1.6 billion in new spending is irresponsible,” she posted on her website. “The continual cycle of increasing spending on the backs of taxpayers has got to end. A balanced budget is possible without additional taxes. The solution is living within our means and spending within our current revenue levels, not spend more, tax more.”