* Gov. Bruce Rauner is the ILGOP’s top contributor by far and Gov. Rauner has dodged every single question about the DC tax plan. From earlier this month…
“I’m not going to weigh into the detail that’s being debated in Congress right now at on the federal level. I have shared a few thoughts with federal officials, but I’m not going to weigh in to the media on this,” Rauner said.
* So, this was a bit surprising today…
* Tina Sfondeles took notice…
The governor’s office and the Illinois Republican Party did not immediately respond to questions about whether the tweet and the interview [with Tom Miller on WJPF Radio Wednesday morning] now signal Rauner’s support for the plan — after steadfastly refusing to weigh in on it. […]
Miller countered: “Will D.C.’s tax reform plan, if passed, help you perform that task more efficiently, with better tractions?”
The governor said he hopes the federal government makes the tax code “more competitive and lowers [the] tax burden.”
“We need to reduce the tax burden on our working families, we need to reduce the tax burden on our companies, especially our small businesses that create most of the jobs. I’m applauding Congress. I hope they come through,” Rauner said.
“We’ll see. It’s a tough battle. What we need in Illinois is tax reduction. That’s why I want to roll back the Madigan income tax hike. I want to roll it back down to three percent, where it was years ago. And I want to help us with our property taxes. We have the highest in America, they’re crushing our working families and our small businesses, and I want to freeze our property taxes and give every voter the ability to do a referendum and lower their property tax burden, if that’s what they want to do.”
* Meanwhile, from a press release…
Today, Republican Members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation responded to letters they received last week from Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth concerning tax reform and the impact on middle-income families.
The following letter was sent by U.S. Reps. John Shimkus (IL-15), Peter Roskam (IL-06), Randy Hultgren (IL-14), Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), Rodney Davis (IL-13), Mike Bost (IL-12), and Darin LaHood (IL-18):
Dear Senators Durbin and Duckworth,
We are writing to address your recent letter to Republican members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation. The massive 32 percent state income tax hike that was forced onto families earlier this year by Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly hurt the residents in our districts and across the state deeply. We have seen the negative impact these high taxes have had on our state’s economy and Illinois families. Now, we are coming together at the federal level to create a more competitive tax code and give middle-income families the tax relief they deserve.
The nonpartisan Tax Foundation projects that under H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Illinois will see an estimated 37,010 jobs added and an after-tax income gain of $2,333 for middle-income families as a result of this legislation. The Chief of Staff for the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation recently testified before the Ways and Means Committee that on average at every income level there will be a tax cut.
In your letter, you list deductions for medical expenses and state and local income and property taxes – as you are aware, the majority of middle-income taxpayers in Illinois see no benefit from these deductions, which are only available to those who itemize. However, lowering rates and doubling the standard deduction allows individuals to save a greater amount than they currently do even with the student loan deduction.
From businesses on Main Street to middle-income families across our great state, everyone deserves a tax code that rewards hard work by allowing them to keep more money in their paychecks. We urge you to reject the status quo and do what’s right for hardworking taxpayers in Illinois.
We encourage you to work with your colleagues to address any concerns you may have as they craft the Senate bill and we hope you will support these efforts to reform our tax code. Middle-income families deserve to keep more of what they earn and we are committed to lowering taxes for these families. By lowering rates, doubling the standard deduction, and increasing and expanding the child tax credit, the data clearly shows the majority of middle-income families in Illinois will receive a tax cut under H.R. 1.
We hope you will work with us to put an end to a tax system that benefits the wealthy over the middle-class. We look forward to working with you to get a bipartisan tax reform bill to President Trump’s desk.
*** UPDATE 1 *** Pritzker campaign…
Today, Bruce Rauner finally commented on a national issue affecting all Illinois working families: he praised Donald Trump’s regressive tax bill, and said he hopes that Congress “come[s] through.”
According to a recent analysis of the plan Rauner supports, working families stand to lose thousands of dollars to finance massive tax cuts for special interests. The bill also includes a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, causing 13 million to lose insurance by 2027.
“In the choice between Illinois’ middle class families and Donald Trump, Bruce Rauner just chose Donald Trump and his destructive tax bill,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “Trump’s tax plan is an assault on working families still reeling from the damage Bruce Rauner has unleashed on our state.”
*** UPDATE 2 *** Biss campaign…
“Once again, Bruce Rauner is putting personal profit over middle-class and working families in Illinois. Republicans in Congress are trying to push through a tax plan that gives major corporations and the rich a tax break, while increasing the burden on poor and working-class families and adding a trillion dollars to the national deficit. It seems the only time Rauner is willing to say anything about Donald Trump is when he’s likely to receive a tax break,” says Biss spokesman Tom Elliott.
“Worse yet, we don’t even know the full impact the GOP tax plan would have on billionaires and millionaires like Rauner, Pritzker and Kennedy because none of them have released their full tax returns. If we want to fix the rigged system that benefits the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of the rest of us, we need to reform our tax code to make billionaires pay their fair share.
“That’s why, with nearly a decade of experience in Springfield, Daniel Biss is the only candidate running for governor who is fighting for a progressive income tax, a financial transaction tax, and closing the carried interest loophole. These reforms would bring in billions in revenue and level the playing field for middle-class families like his.”
*** UPDATE 3 *** ILGOP…
This was not the first time the party tweeted about tax reform. Our first tweet on the issue dates back to September 14th. ILGOP Chairman Tim Schneider penned an op-ed supporting the goals of tax reform on October 2nd. I’m not sure what’s surprising about today’s tweet.
The Illinois Republican Party supports any effort in Washington to increase wages, create jobs, and expand economic opportunity. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act does just that.
J.B. Pritzker supported Mike Madigan’s 32% tax hike earlier this year that hit every Illinois family. And he’s made clear he wants another middle class tax hike soon. Pritzker’s hypocrisy on the issue of tax relief is stunning.
Aaron P. DeGroot
Illinois Republican Party