* Daily Herald…
Before the vote [on the graduated income tax constitutional amendment], “the governor personally reached out and said ‘it’s a priority of mine … I want to understand why you are in opposition to this,’” [Jonathan Carroll, D-Northbrook] recounted, adding he told Pritzker, “If we’re going to fix how we tax, it has to start with local property taxes.”
Likewise, [Rep. Sam Yingling, D-Grayslake], who said he’d vote against the graduated tax, also received Pritzker time.
“The governor was very proactive and engaging in a number of conversations,” said Yingling, who also pushed property tax relief. “The governor realizes this is a problem that hurts middle-class families and has to be addressed head-on.”
The result? Unenthused Democrats, including Carroll, Yingling, Rep. Daniel Didech of Buffalo Grove — who initially told the Daily Herald he opposed a graduated tax — and Rep. Stephanie Kifowit of Oswego, who took no position, voted for the constitutional amendment Monday, helping to pass it in a 73-44 vote. Pritzker created a Property Tax Relief Task Force that is required to report back by Dec. 31 on how to reduce taxes. Members will include legislators and Pritzker staffers.
Rep. Carroll sponsored the legislation creating that task force, but it stalled yesterday when Republicans complained that it didn’t guarantee bipartisan membership. An amendment was filed this morning which allows all four legislative leaders to appoint task force members.
Yingling is a co-sponsor as are Reps. Stephanie Kifowit and Bob Morgan, who voted against the income tax rates bill yesterday.
* But is another task force really gonna solve anything? Here’s that Third Center Square from the Sun site…
“We had a task force that was created last General Assembly that had a couple of subject matter hearings, but that was the extent of it,” said state Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford. “I’m just curious what this means by having teeth in it because I don’t see anything within the wording of the task force that dictates or mandates any particular thing to happen.”
State Rep. Margo McDermed said she wasn’t impressed.
“I have no confidence whatsoever that anything will change other than the folks that like the status quo the way it is will destroy your hopes,” she told Carroll.
Carroll said the governor had reassured him that changing the way the state taxes residents must change.
Illinois has created task forces or commissions of one form or another to address property taxes in 1975, 1982, 1998, 2009, and 2018, according to an Illinois Department of Revenue report and comments from Sosnowski.
* House OK, sends to Senate rates for graduated income tax: But House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, of Western Springs, said he was proud to be the “party of no” on some of the state’s previously passed unbalanced budgets. He said “history will not look kindly” on the General Assembly for the changes to the tax code and the “anti-business agenda” he said Democrats were pushing in the past four months.
* Springfield scramble: Crunch time for legislators on pot, gaming, budget, other issues: During debate, State Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville, likened taxing the wealthy to the wild: “That’s what hyenas do to animals in the wild.” “They divide them, they sanction them up and they after after the small group because they’re easier to attack,” Davidsmeyer said. But bill sponsor State Rep. Mike Zalewski, D-Riverside, championed it as a way for voters to have a say in a historic way: “I would suggest stability is better than what we have right now.”
* With a Full Slate, Time is Running Out for Illinois Lawmakers: Democrats say passing the new rate table this early will help to assure voters as they decide whether to back the constitutional change. … But Republicans say these are merely “teaser” rates during what’s sure to be a hard-fought campaign on the amendment, which are sure to spike in the future. “This is just a poorly structured package. It gives no guarantees to the taxpayers. It’s a huge tax increase across the board,” said Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills.
* Illinois House OKs graduated tax rate schedule: Rep. Steven Reick, R-Woodstock, said a tax hike focused on the wealthy could lead to problems if there is a downturn in the economy that affects wealthy earners. “When their income goes down the drop is going to be precipitous,” he said. Democrats, though, said the flat tax system is unfair to lower and middle incomes. Rep. Michael Halpin, D-Rock Island, said incomes for the wealthy have grown under the flat tax while others have stagnated. “Who’s done better under the flat tax? The top 1 percent,” he said. “So ask yourself who is being protected by the flat tax system.”