Speaker Michael J. Madigan, House Democrats and advocates for the middle class are calling out Gov. Bruce Rauner and Republicans for refusing to consider fair tax reform that would provide relief for the middle class while making the ultra-wealthy pay their fair share.
Madigan and Democratic lawmakers from across the state introduced House Resolution 1025 Wednesday, challenging Republican lawmakers to stop protecting millionaires, billionaires, and big corporations and instead work with Democrats to enact a fair system that cuts taxes on middle-class and low-income taxpayers. Rauner and legislative Republicans are defending a status quo that allows Rauner to pay at least $5 million less than he would in a state like Iowa.
“Governor Rauner is willfully misleading taxpayers because he doesn’t want anyone to see that he’s blocking tax relief for the middle class, all in an effort to protect a special deal for millionaires and billionaires like himself,” Madigan said. “Today, we set the record straight: A fair tax for Illinois is about putting more money in the pockets of middle-class families. If our Republican colleagues are serious about cutting taxes, creating jobs, and strengthening our economy, they will join us in creating a fair tax system that rewards families who work hard and play by the rules, instead of one that benefits Bruce Rauner, Donald Trump and their billionaire friends.”
Madigan’s resolution cites findings from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy that Illinois’ constitutionally mandated “flat tax” is one of the most regressive tax structures in the country, forcing low- and middle-income residents to pay a larger share of their incomes in taxes than the very wealthy. A taxpayer earning less than $19,000 pays 13.2 percent of their income in state taxes, while those with an income of $498,000 pay only 4.6 percent of their income in taxes.
House Democrats are calling for a progressive tax like those currently in place in 33 other states—including Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri and Indiana—which would put more money in working families’ pockets, allowing them to reinvest in local economies and stimulate business growth and economic development.
“There’s no excuse for the current tax system that forces struggling families to pay more than the very wealthy,” said Roberta Lynch, executive director of AFSCME Council 31. “Illinois working families need fair tax reform. By standing in the way, Governor Rauner and the politicians who follow him are protecting a status quo full of loopholes for those who are already at the top.”
“Last year Democrats and Republicans stood together because they knew we cannot continue to follow Bruce Rauner’s agenda of slashing critical services for our communities so his billionaire and millionaire buddies can get a tax cut,” said Greg Kelley, president of SEIU Healthcare Illinois. “Their votes to end the Rauner budget crisis were votes to put middle-class families ahead of the ultra-wealthy. Now we need a tax system that reflects this same value. I applaud House Democrats’ stand for a fairer system, and we look forward to working with them to get a progressive income tax passed in the future.”
“Throughout our state, parents who want their children to receive a world-class education and homeowners who want relief from rising property taxes can agree on one thing: the system is unfair and needs to change,” said Dan Montgomery, president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers and a high school English teacher. “This is the change we need, and this is the opportunity for all who claim they’re on the side of taxpayers and educators to prove it.”
“As Donald Trump stacks the deck even more in favor of the ultra-wealthy, Governor Rauner and his allies can no longer pretend to stand with the middle class while also protecting a tax system that so clearly reinforces inequality,” said Clem Balanoff, chair of Our Revolution Illinois. “If they are ready to build an Illinois that works for everyone instead of just the top 1 percent, they will stand with us to enact a fair tax system that reflects that.”
The resolution is here. It picked up a bunch of co-sponsors this morning, including a couple of semi-targets (Marty Moylan, who is always an anti-taxer, and Deb Conroy).
* Rauner campaign’s react yesterday…
“The Pritzker-Madigan ticket has officially endorsed a graduated income tax hike because they want to take more money out of the pockets of hardworking Illinoisans. A vote for JB Pritzker is a vote to give Mike Madigan total control of the state and to raise taxes yet again.” -Will Allison, Rauner campaign spokesman
* Rauner campaign this morning…
The Pritzker-Madigan ticket has formally announced its support for a graduated income tax hike after Mike Madigan issued a statement supporting the policy yesterday. This follows months of JB Pritzker campaigning on a tax hike – even stating that it would be a central theme of his campaign.
But the Pritzker-Madigan ticket still doesn’t want to say how high taxes will go. Pritzker has repeatedly dodged on specifics and Madigan responded with a firm “NO” when asked if he had any rates in mind.
How can Illinois families trust Pritzker and Madigan when they have provided no details for their plans?
I do understand “going on the offensive” thingy, staking your positions and all… but Rauner is 20+ points under water by numbers, tuning into voters at a 26 favorability clip, now seen as the most vulnerable incumbent governor in America, while also seen as the worst Republican governor in America.
My point? What reason is Rauner giving to be re-elected? How is a progressive income tax polling these days? Look above, what Dem group leader or group itself is missing? Rauner has unified Illinois Dems (and labor too) like no one in recent memory, and those not on board will get left behind.
Rauner has serious GOP base issues, both fiscal conservatives, and social conservatives aren’t coming home too quickly, and the more Rauner reminds conservatives he’s not their candidate, “fightin’ taxes” that may be polling better… tough to surf against a wave with a wooden sled.
===How can Illinois families trust Pritzker and Madigan when they have provided no details for their plans?===
Rauner has no signed full fiscal year budgets, and may sign a budget that requires that 32% tax increase to balance to appease Rauner.
How is this full frontal and full throated Dem position… and being against it… helps Rauner’s own numbers?
Peoria Guy, during the 2014 campaign, Rauner ran against the pension bill that was passed saying it was unfair to retirees, he was absolutely vague on what changes he wanted to see with workers comp (and continues to be pretty vague, since I don’t think he has much of an understanding of how the system works, what other states do, or the Illinois constitution and how that could impact changes he wants to make), and said he was opposed to right to work laws or making any major changes to collective bargaining in Illinois.
You are right on term limits though. He did campaign on depriving the right of the people to vote for whoever they want.
==A progressive income tax will just create an even bigger exodus of people out of the state.==
To where? Only 10 states have flat taxes. Take us out and that’s nine. 3 set the rate at the local level, so who knows what you’re getting. An additional 3 have rates higher than IL’s. And there’s “Taxachusettes” in the mix, too.
To the issue of Rauner’s support or non-support of various items …
If you attended more than one of his primary speeches, it was obvious the man would say whatever he thought that audience wanted to hear. I actually went to three … and heard different versions,including statements 180° from previous statements. So pulling out a campaign quote about supporting this or that doesn’t mean a thing; you can probably find another quote from the campaign that is exactly the opposite.
I agree with -pot-. This resolution doesn’t mean very much, although it is a signal Madigan can get behind a progressive tax.
Put up an actual bill to amend the State Constitution.
- Grandson of Man - Friday, Apr 27, 18 @ 10:58 am:
Excellent. Madigan and Democrats are framing this correctly, as reform and job growth. That’s how to do it. We don’t have to go the Rauner/IPI/Koch way of gouging savings out of the working class and ripping away at their labor protections.
Democrats must come up with a plan that cuts taxes on many people and raises them on people like Pritzker, Rauner and Griffin. I don’t support a plan that just raises taxes on everyone. We need to give relief, and I’m glad that’s the apparent plan.
I saw a Pritzker social media post in which he said it’s time for him and Bruce Rauner to pay higher taxes. I agree very much with his framing of the issue.
And put the progressive income tax together with mandated local property tax relief. Increase the State’s level of school funding and decrease the local school property tax levy by the same dollar amount the State funding increases. Include a 10 year freeze on the school district increasing their percentage of school funding unless approved by voter referendum. After 10 years, put a cap on the school property tax levy increase at 1% or 1/2 of CPI-U.
That’s real property tax relief. And done / marketed properly, you will have most the property owners behind you. No different than when the State switched from Personal Property, etc. taxes to the income tax; build in extra funds for the school property tax relief.
I’m going to throw out some brackets off the top of my head without any idea how the numbers would generate revenue. Have a 0% rate up to $25,000, a 4% rate from $25,000 to $75,000, a 6% rate from $75,000 to $250,000 and a 9% rate over $250,000. That should put over half the current taxpayers at a lower average rate than today. And index the brackets to CPI-U.
BTW … I’m open to whatever numbers the various budgeting groups come up with but I think it should be only 4 or 5 brackets at most.
And although it wouldn’t be that much money, I would be open to taxing ALL retirement income at 1/2 the above rates. But that should probably be a later, separate proposal since the goal is to get a progressive tax in place.
There comes a point where free-market neoliberal economics is too destructive to economic systems to allow it to continue, nearly unfettered. Tax policy is a good tool.
Jeff Bezos, Bruce Rauner, and JB Pritzker are poster child examples of taxing policies which have encouraged indefensible levels of income inequality.
I think a free-thinking conservative could back this, especially IF tax swap language was included. Cut a deal.
(Don’t be confused by this. I am not for a minimum wage, or any other more socialistic or norm-disruptive policies, I am just not supportive of any frameworks which give globalizing oligarchs increasing power.)
@supplied_demand - Indiana’s county rates are flat, just like their state income tax.
For a press release (was it?), saying Indiana has a progressive income tax is a pretty large miss for what would be a substantive change in tax policy. If they can’t perform the basic analysis, why should I have any confidence in implementation?
“Four of the five states that surround Illinois tax incomes at progressively higher rates. And every one of those states punishes workers earning $50,000 – the starting salary for a Chicago public school teacher – when compared with Illinois.
That’s the problem with progressive tax schemes across the nation. Sold as a tax on the rich, the reality is that higher tax rates creep down into lower income levels.”
Illinois is already a high tax state. Residents face the highest property taxes in the country and some of the nation’s highest sales taxes. Illinois’ flat income tax structure is one of the only competitive features of the state’s tax system
RNUG - Your tax plan would be a tax cut for any household under $240,000. A $1 millionaire would pay an effective rate of 8%. That’s probably a plan a majority of folks on the progressive fence could get behind. Now you just have to tell JB.
==Illinois’ flat income tax structure is one of the only competitive features of the state’s tax system==
One of the only ways you are going to be able to reduce property taxes is to increase taxes at the state level, whether it is a higher flat tax or a progressive tax. You’re not going to be able to have a low income tax and low property taxes, at least in near to mid term, without increasing state revenues to replace what will be lost at the local level.
== RNUG - Your tax plan would be a tax cut for any household under $240,000. A $1 millionaire would pay an effective rate of 8%. That’s probably a plan a majority of folks on the progressive fence could get behind. ==
-city zen-, but does it generate more revenue than today? Significantly enough to increase school funding to force property taxes down?
Anyone naive enough to believe state income taxes will be lower for many people, 8 years after the adoption of a progressive income tax, should put down the crack pipe. Illinois has a giant spending problem that prevents all taxes from going down.
-BC-, the concept of a progressive income tax (without details) sells well. It pretty much matches the citizens desires for more services without more taxes. Everyone believes it will be someone else paying the higher tax rate.
Rauner seems to be counting on a general anti-tax sentiment to prevsil and help him.
I don’t think the polling is wrong, per se, but I suspect the R and D sides are asking significantly different phrased questions.
And I have to question how much of a push poll both sides are using.
It is an election year and it is all talk again as usual. Madigan and his cronies had complete control of the State before Rauner and did not push a progressive tax, did not push minimum wage increases and did not fund education properly. What they did give us was high property taxes, new fees, increased fees and poor fiscal management of the State. They gave a gerrymandering so they control who get elected and not the people of the State. Only Democratic candidates that align with Madigan need apply to run for State Offices.
Where actually is this 72% in favor approval from?
” A poll conducted by Illinois Policy found 42 percent of active likely voters in Illinois oppose a progressive tax, with 29 percent unsure or having no opinion, and 29 percent supporting.”
==They probably asked something like “Do you support the Madigan machine’s attempts to raise your taxes?”==
The Simon Poll was vague:
Would you favor or oppose a proposal to change the Illinois Constitution to allow a graduated income tax – that is, tax rates would be lower for lower-income taxpayers and higher for upper income taxpayers?
A little over half of the state tax filers make under $50,000. That makes everyone else “upper income taxpayers”. Would 72% approve if they said everyone making over $50K paid more in taxes? Doubtful.
Before I am for or against it, what are the rates going to be? Remember when there was a 2% decrease in the Fica tax, Il increased taxes 2% to pay bills. To pay bills, well, Judy baar Topinka called that one, they increased spending. I xan not see increasing taxes unless there is spending reform on pensions and other wasteful government expenditures.