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Dueling “Fair Tax” press releases

Tuesday, Jul 7, 2020

* Press release…

Today, in an unprecedented coalition effort, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Farm Bureau, National Federation of Independent Business - Illinois, and Technology and Manufacturing Association joined together to urge Illinois voters to vote no on the Progressive Tax Constitutional Amendment. Leaders of the coalition held simultaneous press conferences at four locations throughout Illinois among the very people this tax would hurt most: small businesses, farmers, manufacturers, and workers.

Their message was heard loud and clear: Illinoisans are already overtaxed. Families, workers, seniors, and small business owners struggle under the weight of the highest overall tax burden in the entire country, yet politicians in Springfield are trying to hike taxes again. The progressive tax will do nothing to address our sky-high property taxes; will cost jobs, slow wage growth, and hurt Illinois workers; and will end up raising taxes on the middle class and the working poor. Illinoisans can’t afford another tax hike, especially as working families and small businesses struggle to recover from COVID-19.

Illinois Chamber of Commerce President Todd Maisch said, “The progressive tax increase is the same thing as leaving a huge bag of taxpayers’ cash at the backdoor of the statehouse and city hall. None of the money is dedicated to property tax relief, increased funding of education, public safety or pension debt relief. Politicians arrogantly demand that hard-working taxpayers trust them to spend the money wisely. We don’t.”

Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert, Jr remarked, “What this new progressive tax will actually do is take us down the same route that these proposals have gone in other states. To cover all of Springfield’s spending and debt, the tax brackets and rates will have to be changed to raise taxes on the middle class and even the working poor, with higher rates starting at incomes as low as $25,000 per year. So while proponents claim the progressive tax would only tax ‘the rich,’ many of whom are local leaders like family farmers who are investing in their communities and creating jobs, the truth is that this amendment will open up every Illinoisan to tax increases.“

National Federation of Independent Business Illinois Leadership Council Chair Cindy Neal commented, “Let us not forget that Illinoisans already pay the 2nd highest property taxes in the nation, and these local taxes increase every single year. We pay three to four times the property taxes of our neighbors in Indiana and Wisconsin, and our taxes go up every year even though property values are stagnant. This progressive tax will do nothing to address our biggest problem in Illinois: our sky-high property tax burden. It simply piles additional taxes onto already overburdened Illinois taxpayers. All of these taxes have serious and real-life consequenc­­­­­­es for our families and small businesses, especially as we struggle to recover from COVID-19.”

Technology and Manufacturing Association President Steve Rauschenberger noted, “The progressive tax will cost jobs, slow wage growth, and hurt Illinois workers when we’re already facing the highest unemployment since the Great Depression due to the coronavirus. Our Illinois economy continues to lag our neighbors and the rest of the country because of high taxes. The progressive tax will further hurt our economy, costing Illinois up to 286,000 jobs and $43 billion in economic activity. This means fewer jobs for Illinois workers, slower wage growth and higher costs for families, and less opportunity for our children at a time when we can least afford it.”

About the Vote No on the Progressive Tax Coalition:
Leading small business and pro-taxpayer organizations from throughout Illinois have formed a grassroots coalition to defeat the Progressive Tax Amendment because Illinoisans are overtaxed. Families, workers, seniors, and small businesses struggle under the weight of the highest overall tax burden in the entire country. Illinois’ Progressive Tax Amendment proposal does nothing to address our sky-high property taxes, will cost jobs, slow wage growth, and hurt Illinois workers, with the result being a tax increase on the middle class and the working poor.

* Press release…

Vote Yes For Fairness Chairman Quentin Fulks released the following statement in response to this morning’s press conference from a self-described grassroots organization against the Fair Tax:

“Today’s press conference was the height of hypocrisy, put on by a group masquerading as a grassroots organization whose sole purpose is to protect the millionaires and billionaires who have benefited from Illinois’ unfair tax system for far too long. It’s despicable that they’re trying to capitalize on the coronavirus pandemic to protect the wealthiest Illinoisans, while so many families are struggling to make ends meet. Sadly, it comes as no surprise given these organizations have spent decades advocating for policies that decimated critical services, left our education system criminally underfunded, and hurt our nurses, grocery store clerks, paramedics, and other essential workers.

“Since the truth isn’t on their side, this press conference was filled with lies from start to finish. Contrary to what they say, the Fair Tax will only affect small businesses that make more than $250,000 a year in profit, while at least 97% of Illinoisans will see no income tax increase or a tax cut.

“Now more than ever, we need to change our tax system from one where our essential workers pay the same tax rate as millionaires and billionaires to one that finally makes the wealthiest Illinoisans pay their fair share. It’s clear from today’s press conference that opponents of the Fair Tax can only use desperate lies to try and mislead Illinois voters to keep the status quo in place, and Vote Yes For Fairness won’t let them go unanswered.”

…Adding… Another press release…

Vote Yes for Fair Tax chairman John Bouman issued this statement:

    “It’s no surprise that wealthy special interests like the unfair old way of taxing income in Illinois, because it’s given them a sweet deal for way too long.

    “Working people overwhelmingly support the Fair Tax amendment because everyone who makes under $250,000 will get a tax cut or pay no more.

    “Fair Tax reform also means fair funding for every community and the important services we need now more than ever. When wealthy people pay their fair share, our state will have $3 billion more to invest in health care, schools, human services and jobs to rebuild our communities stronger and more fairly than before.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

28 Comments
  1. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 11:53 am:

    Seems like best ad to run against the SpakyBaise/Denzler pitch is pictures of GovJunk/Griffin/Uline et all with the suggestion the grassrooters want give them a tax cut.


  2. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 11:55 am:

    Why do Democrats believe raising taxes in a recession on small businesses whose minimum wage went from $8.25 to $10 this week and then to $15 by 2025 will lower the 7th highest unemployment rate in the nation?


  3. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 11:56 am:

    === Today, in an unprecedented coalition effort, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Farm Bureau, National Federation of Independent Business - Illinois, and Technology and Manufacturing Association joined together to urge Illinois voters to vote no on the Progressive Tax Constitutional Amendment.===

    When you get $51 million behind your effort…

    … all ya got are press releases.

    This will be adorable, watching Todd Maisch “press release” the heck out of the $50+ million bombardment of…

    “97% won’t see a tax increase”

    … and the closing argument…

    “If it fails, ALL of our taxes will rise”

    It’s like watching a slow-mo implosion of Raunerites trying to *seem* relevant to a real policy argument with a HAM radio and yard signs… oh, and if wealthy benefactors are found wanting to stop it… “Millionaires are trying to not pay their fair share”

    But… “a press release”… amirite?


  4. - willowglen - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 12:00 pm:

    I have no skin is this game, but OW, at some point do you agree that higher taxes are exogenous to economic productivity? An essential question.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 12:02 pm:

    === at some point do you agree that higher taxes are exogenous to economic productivity?===

    How many times has the income tax been increased in Illinois?

    If we’re talking apples to apples.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 12:04 pm:

    === === at some point do you agree that higher taxes are …===

    The higher taxes you’re opining about are for the 3%

    If we’re gonna talk about policy


  7. - Shytown - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 12:04 pm:

    == When you get $51 million behind your effort…
    … all ya got are press releases.==

    This wins the day. Game over.


  8. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 12:04 pm:

    If this is the best that the 3% Coalition has to offer, they’re gonna have a long campaign ahead of them.

    Meanwhile, on the other side:

    1) You’ll only see a tax increase if you pocket more than a quarter-mill per year, and

    2) There will be a tax cut or no income tax increase for 97% of Illinoisans.

    3) Repeat

    – MrJM


  9. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 12:15 pm:

    “wealthy special interests”

    Hyatt?


  10. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 12:20 pm:

    - City Zen -

    … and yet, $50+ million is in the pot to get this passed.

    Wonder, maybe some of that is Hyatt money?


  11. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 12:21 pm:

    Lots of outright lies by the anti-tax group, like a graduated income tax is going to hurt job growth, workers, raise taxes on the working class and poor.

    Corporations get a massive 40% federal tax cut while deficit and debt are exploding, and there are other Trump tax cuts, so the anti-tax tears are extra phony.


  12. - allknowingmasterofraccoodom - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 12:22 pm:

    This amendment is going to spectacularly fail even with only minimal effort form the opposition. Just wait and see. And by the way, that $250,000 number? I know several households with a fireman and a teacher who blow that number away. So yea, it ain’t all millionaires and billionaires.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 12:25 pm:

    === This amendment is going to spectacularly fail even with only minimal effort form the opposition. Just wait and see.===

    Ok.

    “Spectacularly”?

    Can you show where the thought of an Illinois progressive income tax polls poorly now?

    === I know several households with a fireman and a teacher who blow that number away. So yea, it ain’t all millionaires and billionaires.===

    Narrator: It’s still 3%


  14. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 12:27 pm:

    If the fair tax passes and raises the 1.5 billion promised for the first 6 months of 2021, where do Democrats get the other 4 to 5 billion needed to balance the 2021 budget?

    From the 97% getting a tax cut?


  15. - BulfrogVino - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 12:30 pm:

    Since the starting point on the IL 1040 is your Federal AGI amount and the Governor’s Federal AGI does not include the money he receives from the CIBC (Bahamas) trusts, I would be more that open to this increase if Illinois were to decouple from the Federal rules and tax the grandfathered offshore accounts that the Governor directly benefits from.


  16. - Give Us Barabbas - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 12:33 pm:

    Voters aren’t big on nuance. Even if you have them on board today, there’s no guarantees that you can take for for granted in November. They can be flim-flammed into voting against their own interest on many issues that are related to budgets and taxes. So the messaging on both sides has got to be relentless, right up to election day.

    Well, at least advertising people have some job security in tis economy.


  17. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 12:55 pm:

    JB Pritzker is spending 8 times more what he paid in taxes last year pushing the fair tax amendment.

    Pritzkers Report $6M in Income, Release Partial Tax Returns
    Gov. J.B. Pritzker and first lady M.K. Pritzker reported $6.2 million in income last year and paid $216,000 in Illinois taxes.

    The Democratic governor and his wife released partial federal and state income tax returns Tuesday. The hotel chain heir and philanthropist is worth $3.4 billion.

    https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/illinois/articles/2019-10-15/pritzkers-report-6m-in-income-release-partial-tax-returns


  18. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 1:03 pm:

    - Lucky Pierre -

    You never asked for Rauner’s tax returns.

    Why?

    :)


  19. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 1:24 pm:

    What was there to ask? Rauner released his tax returns every year.

    Don’t you find it interesting that Rauner paid significantly more taxes than JB every year even though the Pritzkers are far wealthier?

    6 million in income on a 3.4 billion dollar fortune is a pittance


  20. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 1:46 pm:

    === Rauner released his tax returns every year.===

    Oh…

    === The Democratic governor and his wife released partial federal and state income tax returns Tuesday. The hotel chain heir and philanthropist is worth $3.4 billion.===

    Did Rauner give those schedules too?

    Thanks.


  21. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 1:59 pm:

    Rauner is a perfect example for why we need a graduated income tax. His income skyrocketed to hundreds of millions of dollars while he was governor and sabotaging the state’s finances, attacking unions and illegally not paying state workers their guaranteed raises.


  22. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:06 pm:

    === If the fair tax passes and raises the 1.5 billion promised for the first 6 months of 2021, where do Democrats get the other 4 to 5 billion needed to balance the 2021 budget?===

    Were you upset more when Rauner finally signed a budget or when Rauner refused to sign 3 budgets, with two years of ZERO budget?

    You can’t be this “angry” and think the 4 years of Rauner were “better”… budgetarily…


  23. - Pearly - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 2:57 pm:

    ==I know several households with a fireman and a teacher who blow that number away.==

    Please link us to the career pages of the school and fire districts that pay $125k annually at minimum. I’d love to apply. If there really are firemen making more than Google engineers, I’d love to tax them at a higher rate.


  24. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 3:14 pm:

    “It’s despicable that they’re trying to capitalize on the coronavirus pandemic”

    Now, more than ever.


  25. - Aspects - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 3:47 pm:

    ==I know several households with a fireman and a teacher who blow that number away.==

    I’ll take Things That Never Happened for $500, Alex.


  26. - Ash - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 5:17 pm:

    Until the farm bureau renounces farm subsidies, I think they need to revisit this anti-tax stance…


  27. - Arbys - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 5:23 pm:

    Not only are we one of the highest taxing states in the US but the “ fair tax” will not solve their problems of over spending and an out of control pension system that will never be solvent as long as those workers with pensions contribute less then 10% of the cost needed. Connecticut was the last state to enact a progressive tax and it did nothing to solve their spending issues. Pritzker lacks the courage to tackle the pension issue. At some point the pension system will go under and the pensioners will get penny’s on the dollar.


  28. - Not a Billionaire - Tuesday, Jul 7, 20 @ 5:28 pm:

    We could start the cuts with the Department of Ag.


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