Letters to the Editor

Letter: Is Pritzker being “progressive” or simply repackaging history?

To the Editor:

The word “progressive” implies growth and improvement, but Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s progressive income tax proposal would only force more residents to leave the state. That doesn’t sound like an improvement to me.

My plan was to retire in 2020. Now, I’m afraid I won’t be able to afford to retire in this state. Illinois is where I was born and where I chose to raise my family. Will I have to move away from my grandchildren?

Our state constitution strictly prohibits a graduated, or progressive, income tax. Plus, there’s no guarantee the rates would remain as Pritzker proposed. Without guaranteed rates, we will give our legislators carte blanche to raise taxes any time and any amount they feel is necessary. 

Let’s anticipate Illinois residents vote this down. Our “progressive” governor will need a new way to find revenue, balance the budget and fund his $19 billion spending plan.

Where will he turn next? Tax retirement income? Implement a commuter tax? History shows us what’s next.

Former Gov. Jim Edgar gave lawmakers the green light to kick the can on pensions by passing what’s known as the “Edgar ramp.” Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich followed up by allowing the state to skip half its pension payments for two years and to stretch some expenses approved under the previous governor, George Ryan. The progressive income tax is yet another stall tactic to ignore the state’s overspending and overpromising. 

This is a history we cannot afford to repeat. I can only hope as a constituent of state Rep. Sam Yingling’s district that he will stand up for us and protect the middle class from future tax hikes. 

Instead of taxing the residents of Illinois, let’s ask our legislators to take a sober look at state spending. Isn’t that the real issue here, we continue to spend what we don’t have?  
 

Michelle Mathia

Round Lake Beach

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