CHICAGO – A taxpayer watchdog group is warning Illinoisans that lawmakers may seek even more from them next year.
In July, mostly Democratic lawmakers overrode Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a measure that created the “largest permanent tax hike in the state’s history,” according to a Taxpayers United of America (TUA) press release.
The state transitioned from a 3.75 percent personal income tax to 4.95 percent. Additionally, corporate tax rates shifted from 7.75 percent to 9.5 percent.
Beyond the new tax increase, the TUA says that House Speaker Michael J. Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton will seek to add a higher graduated tax increase proposal onto the 2018 ballot.
“If approved, as with previous state tax increases, almost all of the money will be pumped into the insolvent state pension plans for retired state-government employees,” said Taxpayers United of America president Jim Tobin in the release.
Tobin and the TUA are highly ciritical of the state's "lavish" pension systems.
“Nearly 100,000 Illinois government retirees collect annual pensions totaling $50,000 or more, and 17,000 of those former government employees collect annual pensions totaling $100,000 or more,” he said in the release.
Tobin compmared the state's “lavish, gold-plated pensions” to those in the private sector who “scrape by” on average Social Security incomes of often times less than $17,000 annually.
Tobin and TUA executive director Jared Labell are confident voters will defeat the proposal. However, they recommend citizens to contact their state legislator to voice opposition to the proposed ballot measure before it reaches the voting booths.