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Proposed $2 billion tax increase met with 'Stop asking taxpayers to pay for lawmakers’ ineptitude' reaction

By Rebecca Campbell | Apr 22, 2016

CHICAGO - Democrat lawmaker Lou Lang's proposal to increase taxes in Illinois by $1.9 billion is an old move with a new sales pitch, according to a staunch opponent.

John Tillman, CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute, said the plan sends a clear message to the state of Illinois.

“Democrats want hard-working taxpayers to pay for their ineptitude," Tillman said. "It’s doubly offensive because this proposal comes at a time when lawmakers have not even passed a state budget. How can they tell taxpayers they need more money without offering them an idea of how this money will be spent?”

In 2014, lawmakers attempted to introduce a "fair-tax," which purported to only increase taxes on the rich, according to Tillman. However, the proposal, which was eventually rejected, would have increased taxes on anyone with more than $22,000 in taxable income. 

Tillman said that Democrats are now trying the same move.

“The same crew of tax-hikers has come out with a new proposal they say will only raise taxes on those with more than $500,000 in income, but we know their real motive,” he said. “They are trying to implement the same old tactic, just with a different sales pitch this time.”

Regarding pension, economic and labor reform, Tillman said that if Illinois Democrats were as creative in these areas as they are on taxes, the budget crisis would be solved.

“Instead, they resort to the same old tactic over and over again: Raise taxes, waste money, delay reform, raise taxes again,” he said.

“We know from Illinois’ own history that tax increases will not solve Illinois’ persistent financial problems. In 2011, Democrats enacted a tax increase that raised $31 billion in taxpayer dollars over five years. They claimed the cash infusion would help pay down the state’s backlog of bills and restore Illinois’ fiscal health. Instead, 90 cents out of every $1 from the tax increase went to pensions, a pension system these same Democrats refuse to reform.”

Tillman said Illinoisans already pay the second-highest property taxes in the nation, high sale taxes, high income taxes and are facing an increase to the highest gas taxes in the nation. 

“Now the Democrats are proposing yet another tax increase to pay for their unwillingness to reform our state," he said. "It’s time for lawmakers to stop turning to taxpayers to bail them out, and to step up and enact the serious reforms this state needs.”

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