To the Editor:
It should come as no surprise that the Democratic Party’s supermajorities in the Illinois Legislature were able to approve legislation to put Gov. JB Pritzker’s “progressive” income tax scheme on the November 2020 ballot. This referendum will ask our state’s residents to vote on whether we want to amend the Illinois Constitution for this change. Currently, Section 3 of the Constitution (which is titled “Limitations on Income Taxation”) states that a tax on income shall be at a nongraduated rate.
Past attempts in recent years to amend the Illinois Constitution to implement term limits and to address the growing public pension problem have been blocked by Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan and the Democratic Party, but they now believe we need to amend the Constitution to increase taxes.
Under the current Constitution, someone who makes $10,000 is taxed $495, someone who makes $100,000 is taxed $4,950, and someone who makes $1 million is taxed $49,500.
Pritzker has said the change to higher progressive tax rates is needed to make the state income tax more “fair.”
I disagree. The real question is whether someone who pays $49,500 in taxes receives $49,500 worth of services from the state of Illinois. Our state has a huge spending problem, not an “insufficient tax revenue” problem.
It should come as no surprise that the top two states for the past several years for net outmigration are Illinois and New York. Our country’s overall migration pattern shows that residents are leaving the high-tax blue states and are moving to states with a more favorable tax environment. The November 2020 ballot will be an opportunity for our state’s residents to reject this proposed change to the Illinois Constitution.