Promoters of the “Tax Hike” Amendment aren’t telling voters something very important about this new tax hike on the ballot in November.
They’re claiming it’ll only affect “the wealthy.” But that’s highly misleading. In fact, it’s downright disingenuous.
The truth is, we – as Illinois voters – aren’t voting on the tax rates.
We’re voting on whether to give the Legislature new constitutional power to increase taxes on every group of taxpayers — whenever they want, by however much that they want, and without a vote of the people.
So, we don’t get a say on what the tax rates will be now or in the future. That’s left up to the politicians in Springfield.
The rates that the Promoters of the Tax Hike Amendment refer to are just the initial rates, used as bait to get us to vote yes.
If the Tax Hike Amendment passes, there would be no limit on the number of tax brackets that could be created and no limit on how high tax rates could be increased on individual taxpayers – including lower- and middle-income families.
This is a damaging and deceptive proposal that would result in immediate tax increases and open the door for politicians to raise taxes on all Illinois taxpayers in the future.
Take a moment to think about what that means.
Giving the politicians in Springfield unlimited authority to raise taxes on anyone at any time, without a vote of the people, just isn’t right.
Springfield politicians are trying to trap voters because, for years, they’ve mismanaged the state’s finances, and proven time and again that they have no desire whatsoever to control their spending.
For nearly two decades, we’ve read stories about pension costs and bill backlogs with each year a promise to get spending under control, yet they never do.
And, when they don’t, they turn to taxpayers. In the last decade, the Legislature raised the state income tax twice to fund out-of-control spending. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, Illinois still had an $8 billion budget deficit, and the unfunded pension liability skyrocketed to over $137 billion.
To put all this in context, the tax and spend mindset of our politicians has led Illinois to be ranked the least tax-friendly state in the country for families. This is forcing tens of thousands of middle-class families to leave the state every year.
Now, under the guise of “sticking it to the millionaires and billionaires,” they’ve told us once again that another new tax hike is the answer to all their fiscal problems.
But, the revenues from the initial rates are just a drop in the bucket in comparison to the state’s budget deficit and unfunded pension liability.
And, since nothing in the amendment requires the politicians to control their spending—and since the Legislature has not done so after previous income tax increases—we can confidently assume that the rates would increase again and again if the amendment passes, even on middle-income families.
On top of that, the initial rates would be especially devastating to hundreds of thousands of small business owners, large employers, and family farmers trying to recover from the pandemic.
If the amendment passes, it would be the last straw for thousands of small businesses, cause more large employers to leave the state, and stop new employers from locating here.
Because the amendment does nothing to stop Springfield’s massive spending spree, we know two things for sure. First, they are going to have to hike taxes again, and, second, it’s only a matter of time before those hikes come from hardworking families across the state.
Kaylee Heap is a family farmer and agriculture professional who lives in Minooka.