Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x3 - Irvin campaign responds - Advocates urge expanding EITC *** Pritzker to propose almost $1 billion in one-year tax cuts
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*** UPDATED x3 - Irvin campaign responds - Advocates urge expanding EITC *** Pritzker to propose almost $1 billion in one-year tax cuts

Monday, Jan 31, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* AP

The Illinois governor plans to tackle inflation by sparing consumers nearly $1 billion in taxes in the coming year, including freezing taxes on groceries and gasoline and offering a rebate to homeowners.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker will include the plan in his budget proposal set for Wednesday.

The Democratic governor’s plan was outlined by Deputy Gov. Andy Manar in an interview with The Associated Press.

With inflation at 7%, it would suspend for a year the 1% sales tax on groceries, freeze the motor fuel tax on gasoline at 39 cents per gallon and provide a property tax rebate of up to $300.

You’ll remember these ideas from the poll questions I recently shared.

* Sun-Times

The relief includes a suspension of the 1% state tax on groceries during the fiscal year starting July 1, which would save residents an estimated $360 million, Deputy Gov. Andy Manar said Friday.

Grocery tax revenue is earmarked for local municipalities, which will still be “made whole” by other state revenue, Manar said.

Pritzker’s proposal would also suspend a 2-cent-per-gallon increase to the gas tax that was scheduled to kick in this summer, keeping about $135 million in residents’ pockets.

The gas tax hike was a key funding component of Pritzker’s signature $45 billion capital infrastructure improvement plan that was implemented in 2019. Manar said the one-year freeze “will not have an impact on the overall program” and won’t interrupt work already underway on many of the state’s aging roads and bridges.

* WBEZ

And the property tax rebate component would apply to individuals making $250,000 annually or less or to couples making $500,000 or less. That provision would be the priciest of Pritzker’s proposed tax cuts, coming in at $475 million.

Rebates would be capped at $300. The governor’s office did not make clear whether payments would go out in the form of paper checks or direct deposits or whether they would be received ahead of the Nov. 8 general election date.

“In total, this is nearly $1 billion in relief to Illinois families,” Manar said. “And the governor believes at this moment – because we have the ability to do this with our budget stabilized and our state finances are in good shape – that we should focus on the cost of groceries, the cost of gasoline and the cost of property taxes and bring relief to families across the state.”

The state’s financial picture has been on an upswing under Pritzker with state income and sales taxes surging ahead of projections. In November, in a presentation to bond investors, Pritzker’s administration disclosed year-to-date state revenues were $1.3 billion ahead of previous-year levels.

* Tribune

In a combined budget speech and State of the State address, Pritzker will face a dual task: outlining his spending plan to kick off negotiations in the Democratic-controlled legislature, and making the case to voters that his handling of the state’s chronically shaky finances, his pandemic public health policies and his efforts to reach out to long-neglected minority communities have earned him another four years in office. […]

And even with Democrats in full control of the legislature, there’s no guarantee of full support for everything Pritzker proposes.

In an interview last week on Illinois Public Media’s “The 21st Show,” Senate President Don Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat, was asked about the possibility of providing some relief to taxpayers, such as suspending the sales tax on groceries, as Pritzker will propose.

“We could do it, but we wouldn’t provide a lot of relief for struggling families. … We don’t want to do something that is flashy showbiz but doesn’t provide real relief to people” Harmon said.

A transcript of that interview is here.

* Crain’s

Pritzker has plenty of company in cutting taxes now. Not only Republicans in states such as Indiana but newly installed New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, have proposed reductions in their levies, too.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Press release…

Legislators, advocates and community members urged Gov. Pritzker to offer a tax cut for low-income Illinoisans in the State’s FY2022 budget, ahead of his Feb. 2 budget address. Advocates urged the inclusion of a bill (SB3774 Aquino/ HB4920 Ammons) that would expand Earned Income Credit (EIC) eligibility, include a new state Child Tax Credit, and increase the amount of credit available to each low-income filer.

“I am proud to be the chief sponsor of HB4290, a bill that would expand the Earned Income Credit and lift millions of Illinoisans out of poverty by providing low-income people with much-needed tax relief. Illinois’ current tax system is one of the most regressive in the country, blocking over a million of our neighbors from their basic needs in favor of the wealthy few,” said Representative Carol Ammons (D-Urbana). “As Gov. Pritzker prepares the annual budget address, I urge him to put Illinois on the path toward a more equitable tax system by expanding the Earned Income Credit.”

The bill to expand Illinois’ Earned Income Credit (EIC) would offer 4.5 million low-income Illinoisans a tax break. The bill uses the popular and effective tax credit as a vehicle to get more dollars directly into households around the state. For most families, it would mean, on average, $600 in a refund at tax time. The bill proposes expanding eligibility to nearly one million low-income residents who are currently barred from the credit, and then increasing the available credit amount for all recipients.

Similar to the federal EITC, the current state EIC offers income tax relief to most workers earning less than $56,000 per year and would total up to $1,200 in a tax return. The newly filed state bill would expand Illinois’ Earned Income Credit to include groups currently ineligible for the refund—namely, childless workers aged 18-24 and over 65 and immigrants who file taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). It would also create a statewide Child Tax Credit of at least $600 for parents or legal guardians of children under 17. Finally, over three years, it would increase the credit amount from the current 18% match of the federal EITC to 25%, offering hundreds of dollars more each year to families who need it.

Gov. Pritzker released a statement on Friday praising current state and federal Earned Income Tax Credits and calling on taxpayers to take advantage of existing programs. The Pritzker administration has also spent recent years promoting a joint outreach initiative with the Ilinois Department of Revenue to increase taxpayer participation in the state credit. In 2021, 74,800 Illinoisans claimed a federal EITC credit but did not claim the state EIC, leaving $29.8 million on the table.

“The Earned Income Tax Credit is a huge benefit and puts thousands of dollars in the pockets of low to moderate income families each year,” Gov. JB Pritzker said in the statement Friday. “Even if an individual does not owe any taxes, they may still be eligible for the credit and receive critical funding that can be used for bills and necessities.”

Advocates for SB3774/HB4920 are hopeful that Pritzker signaling support of the existing EITC will translate to him including support for the tax credit’s expansion in next week’s budget address.

“An expanded Earned Income Credit would provide a lot of help for my family, especially as the pandemic has surged again. At this moment, we really don’t have economic security. Food, rent, and utility costs have gone way up this year, and it’s harder to support our children,” said Susana Salgado, a Chicago parent of three and a community leader with Community Organizing and Family Issues’ POWER-PAC. “The governor should make our tax system more fair, particularly for undocumented and mixed status families who are excluded from many government programs. An extra few hundred dollars at tax time would help us to get out of a hole of debt and alleviate our stress.”

The Coalition to Make EIC Work, a project of the Illinois Cost-Of-Living Refund Coalition, is leading the advocacy effort. The coalition includes more than 30 nonprofit, labor, consumer advocate, immigrant rights, and grassroots, community-based organizations across the state.

This bill comes at a time when the state is seeking ways to support communities most impacted by COVID-19. An expansion of the EIC to immigrant families, seniors, and childless young workers would help to strengthen the safety net for the groups left out of federal coronavirus relief programs.

To learn more about the bill, visit the fact sheet at bit.ly/expandEIC22.

Expanding EITC was included in that aforementioned poll.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Press release…

As JB Pritzker will surely try to rewrite history in this week’s State of the State and Budget Address and announce election-year gimmicks to cover up his record of out-of-control crime and higher taxes, here is a quick reminder of the sad and scary reality of his Administration over the last three years and why he simply can’t be trusted:

    • Pritzker spent $58 million in an attempt to enact the largest tax hike in Illinois history on families, small businesses and farmers. This tax plan would have given politicians in Springfield unlimited power to raise taxes at their discretion on every family in Illinois. Despite his failure, he is committed to pursuing this endeavor again.

    • Pritzker signed into law new policies that prohibit the police from doing their jobs and will put more criminals onto the street with cashless bail.

    • Pritzker has let some of society’s worst criminals back onto the streets early, including multiple convicted murderers. They include a woman who shot her 21-month-old child and a man who beat his baby to death.

    • Pritzker continuously attempts to abolish the tax credit scholarship program that provides low income families better educational opportunities for their children.

    • Pritzker punished Illinoisans for the failure of his massive tax hike by raising taxes on Illinois businesses.

“Governor Pritzker’s actions over the last three years have proven that he simply can’t be trusted to lead our state,” Richard Irvin campaign spokesperson Eleni Demertzis said. “Election year gimmicks aren’t going to take back our state from out-of-control crime, higher taxes and corruption. To do that, we need a new governor.”

*** UPDATE 3 *** While not identical to the governor’s proposal, the SGOPS appear to be dancing to the same sort of tune. Or, perhaps more likely, they’ve come up with an excuse to not vote for the governor’s plan…

Illinois Senate Republicans are seeking to deliver Illinois families much-needed tax relief through their recently announced package of tax reform proposals. They say these measures will provide the citizens of Illinois with permanent, substantive relief, instead of the temporary relief that is expected to be proposed by Gov. JB Pritzker during his upcoming Budget Address.

“It’s encouraging to hear that the Governor has finally recognized the need to provide tax relief for struggling Illinois families, but they need more than just one-time, election year gimmicks. What they need is true, long-lasting tax relief that gets our state on the right track,” said Illinois Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods). “People continue to be taxed out of this state. Short-term solutions will not fix that.”

As part of the proposed tax relief package, Senate Republicans are calling for reforms that help address the growing concerns of inflation and skyrocketing consumer prices. These changes include the elimination of the state’s one percent sales tax on food and prescription drugs.

“According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans have experienced the largest 12-month increase in inflation since June 1982,” said State Sen. Donald DeWitte (R-St Charles). “This includes a 6.3 percent increase in total food prices, and a staggering 16 percent increase in just meat prices. There are far too many Illinoisans worried about how they will be able to put food on their tables and pay for their family’s medicine for the state legislature to sit idly by and do nothing.”

Another section of the Senate Republicans’ tax proposal is aimed at addressing the climbing price of gas. They support a proposal that lowers the overall amount consumers pay at the pump, but also ensure that critical funding necessary for road improvements remains the same. This proposal includes lowering the 6.25 percent sales tax on gas/gasohol to 5.25 percent, while also increasing the Road Fund disbursement from 32 percent to 53 percent.

“This plan will not only provide relief for Illinoisans filling up their gas tanks, but will also ensure that we continue to fund construction projects desperately needed throughout the state,” said State Sen. Win Stoller (R-Germantown Hills). “In fact, our proposal will increase the state’s road fund by $80 million. This is a common-sense approach to alleviating the burden that our constituents are currently experiencing while at the gas pump.”

Additionally, the tax relief package being put forward would further help Illinois senior citizens by increasing the income tax exemption that they can receive on their Illinois income tax from $1,000 to $2,000.

“While there have been some state officials who have suggested the idea of placing additional taxes on our seniors, we are advancing ideas that actually save them even more of their hard-earned money,” said State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet). “It is our goal to make Illinois a friendly tax state for both our seniors and retirees.”

Finally, Senate Republicans seek to take on the issue of property taxes that has plagued the state for far too long, by calling for an increase in the state’s property tax income tax credit. Under this initiative, the tax credit would rise from 5 percent to 10 percent. The plan also allows voters who are subject to the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL), the ability to go to referendum to lower their property taxes.

“It is no secret to anyone that property taxes have been a serious, long-standing issue that many Illinoisans continue to face,” said State Sen. Craig Wilcox (R-McHenry). “For years, Illinois politicians have promised to provide property tax relief, and we intend to keep that promise.”
You can view the Illinois Senate Republican Caucus’ entire tax relief package here.

       

81 Comments
  1. - Arsenal - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 9:26 am:

    I don’t have a lot to say about the policies here (the effect depends too much on other events), but this is another reason it’s hard to beat an incumbent. All the IL state politics headlines this morning are some variation of “Pritzker Proposes Almost $1 Billion in tax cuts”.


  2. - Phenomynous - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 9:29 am:

    Remember when we needed a progressive income tax to generate revenue to address future projected deficits? lol


  3. - SWSider - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 9:31 am:

    So…. That progressive income tax our state desperately needs is just, like, gone? Great. Nice work, guv.


  4. - PublicServant - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 9:34 am:

    === We could do it, but we wouldn’t provide a lot of relief for struggling families ===

    Harmon is a bit tone deaf here. I’m pretty sure his definition of struggling families, and mine are different. It’s not flashy, and it’s real help no matter the family.


  5. - Perrid - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 9:35 am:

    “In November, in a presentation to bond investors, Pritzker’s administration disclosed year-to-date state revenues were $1.3 billion ahead of previous-year levels.”

    So IL had an unexpected windfall, made more than it expected, and if giving a large part of that back? That’s why Manar is saying this won’t effect capital projects? If so, great. As long as this doesn’t make the state’s debt or payment cycle worse, I don’t really see a downside. You could argue whether rebates are the best way to spend it, as opposed to paying off debt (pick your poison) faster, but sending money back to voters right before an election isn’t bad.


  6. - SWIL_Voter - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 9:35 am:

    Pandering to voters who would never in a million years vote for him while we still owe money on COVID borrowing. So silly


  7. - Arsenal - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 9:36 am:

    I’m not sure that “The Governor can deliver $1B in tax breaks even without the progressive income tax he wanted” is quite the dunk you guys seem to think it is?

    Also, the last couple years have been sui generis. I wouldn’t presume that anything happening right now is good evidence of how things will be in the long term.


  8. - SWSider - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 9:37 am:

    Not a dunk. Tremendous disappoint. As a state, we need that. Not fighting for it is a huge, huge failure that will hurt our state for years. Especially if he loses, which given the national climate, is certainly on the table.

    Political cowardice has put us in the position and will keep us hear as long as pols decide winning is more important.


  9. - Arsenal - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 9:38 am:

    ==You could argue whether rebates are the best way to spend it, as opposed to paying off debt (pick your poison) faster==

    Well, ideally it’s a question of *when* you deliver the tax breaks. Because either you deliver them right now, or you pay off the debt faster so you can deliver them later (though this second option depends on not finding anything else you need to spend the money on before “later” gets here).

    My tastes run toward “later”, but we can’t take the politics out of politics.


  10. - Fav Human - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 9:38 am:

    property tax rebate component

    And what about renters?? Kind of surprised the Gov is shafting the lower end of the income scale…


  11. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 9:38 am:

    If you’re reacting to the “progressive income tax” thing on this without the realization that, if passed, not only will the governor give tax relief, along with Democrats in the GA, you’re likely gonna ignore all the Republicans that will, per usual, vote *against* tax relief by voting against the budget… that’ll be… fun.

    Will Bourne vote against a budget… with tax relief… while on a ticket touting… tax relief?

    We’ll see, we’ll see on all fronts.


  12. - Arsenal - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 9:41 am:

    ==As a state, we need that.==

    I agree, but the voters rejected it pretty decisively. I’d argue that they did so in part because of a listless campaign run by the Gov’s team, but what’s done is done. It’s not coming back this year, and I’m not sure it’d be so wise to spend time and energy on a noble failure when there’s a lot of other stuff you can accomplish to make people’s lives better.


  13. - Arsenal - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 9:46 am:

    ==Will Bourne vote against a budget… with tax relief… while on a ticket touting… tax relief?==

    Such a trick box is another example of why it’s hard to beat an incumbent.


  14. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 9:46 am:

    ===but what’s done is done===

    I saw it as a once in a lifetime opportunity.


  15. - Pundent - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 9:49 am:

    A poor showing on the part of Pritzker and his team doomed the progressive tax from passing. It’s too bad as the middle and lower economic classes will continue to shoulder a disproportionate amount of the burden. But Ken Griffin thanks all of those that put his economic interests before their own.

    As to the current tax cuts, well I’m sure they’ll be welcomed in an election year. And as OW points out it should tie the ILGOP in all kinds of knots when it comes time to vote on a budget. But when did hypocrisy ever concern either party? And for the masses that these cuts are intended to help? It will merely be a drop in the proverbial bucket.


  16. - Arsenal - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 9:50 am:

    ==I saw it as a once in a lifetime opportunity. ==

    I would say it’s *definitely* a once-in-a-Governorship opportunity. Pritzker will never get another shot at it.


  17. - Benjamin - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 9:50 am:

    Yeah, I don’t love this. The state is in vastly better financial condition than it was four years ago, but it’s not California, where they’re running huge surpluses. We still have pensions to pay for, infrastructure backlogs, and underfunded state agencies.

    Now, maybe someone’s done a calculation that putting extra money into pension funds right now doesn’t make sense because assets are overvalued and likely to correct soon, and that infrastructure will be less expensive in a year or two when supply shortages ease, and that there’s no good one-time use of extra funds at state agencies like DCFS, and so a temporary tax cut is really the best use of that money. If that’s the case, though, I want to see someone lay out the argument, not just say, “Wouldn’t you like a tax cut?”


  18. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 9:54 am:

    The next real (it’s not even a real) opportunity for a progressive income tax will come if the state ever holds a constitutional convention, and income tax is part of that new constitution structure.

    It should be noted that Mike Frerichs stands tall for discussing taxing retirement income, so Frerichs support of this budget would be interesting as Demmer reinforces the Frerichs want to discuss taxing retirement income, and what that means in a year with tax relief in a budget… and Demmer likely voting against such tax relief?

    Oh boy.


  19. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 9:54 am:

    @SWIL_Voter

    Huh? Everybody likes getting money back from the government. Not just right-wing hard-R Republicans.


  20. - Techie - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 9:59 am:

    This feels gimmicky, but I hope that the small cost reductions in food and fuel do hope everyone who could really use some help.


  21. - City Zen - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 10:01 am:

    A child tax credit, similar to what was included in the fair tax package, would’ve been better from a marketing perspective.

    In a year where everyone is hyper sensitive about inflation, suspending the gas tax adjustment is smart. Also keeps that tax under 40 cents in an election year.


  22. - Jibba - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 10:02 am:

    I’m unimpressed. This smacks of political pandering, which goes against JB’s covid-era brand of doing what is necessary even if it is politically hard. I’d rather put any of these cuts toward the debt.

    If he must do something for his political survival, perhaps delaying the gas tax rise and a temporary cut in the grocery tax might be a compromise, but an extra half billion for property taxes is real money.


  23. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 10:06 am:

    Politically, this is a major grab for the middle. I like it. As far as governing realities go (given the dire straits the state has previously had), I’m not so thrilled.


  24. - halving_fun - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 10:07 am:

    dumb politics
    IL should set up a rain day (wealth) fund
    those rainy days come often here


  25. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 10:09 am:

    O magical Trump tax cuts and deregulation, why in your omnipotence have you not kept inflation lower? Major corporations get a 40% income hike every year right off the bat, yet prices are not kept lower. Certainly it’s not trickling down.

    Build Back Better would help many with costs, but someone who’s been born and raised in government (dad and grandpa were mayors) doesn’t want his state (West Virginia) to be spoiled by government. And they buy it over there.


  26. - Give Us Barabbas - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 10:10 am:

    Well it -is- calculated pandering aimed at undercutting the republican candidate’s eternal number one sales point; “Supporting business with lower taxes”. Leaving them the number two sales point: the “crime, ooga-booga-they’re- defunding-the-thin-blue-line” thing.

    They might not care, because this is the year the GOP base is ride-or-die on the blatantly racist anti-CRT theme, antivax/anti-mask, and Trumpism. You can’t reason with the amygdala, only the cortex, and the base has none of those.

    My posting handle is a commentary on un-enlightened people’s tendency to vote for things that are against their own interest. That tendency is having a banner year, I’m afraid.


  27. - ChrisB - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 10:12 am:

    Unpopular opinion I guess, but an EITC is way more efficient than raising the minimum wage in terms of helping the poor.


  28. - Saluki with a Job - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 10:16 am:

    ==Pandering to voters who would never in a million years vote for him while we still owe money on COVID borrowing. So silly==

    So, no money for voters south of I-74? You think there are not poor Republicans living paycheck to paycheck that wouldn’t use the money to help their families? Your argument is that 40% of the state won’t vote for the guy so why should he give them money? The inverse could be said of a lot of the GOP candidates running for Governor. Just sayin’


  29. - Back to the Future - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 10:24 am:

    At some point we need to work on our priorities in Illinois.
    The state needs to stop taxing the purchase of groceries. 56 other states get by without this regressive tax.


  30. - OneMan - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 10:25 am:

    == And the property tax rebate component would apply to individuals making $250,000 annually or less or to couples making $500,000 ==

    So a little while back you passed a tax rate with a significant couples penalty that would have been implemented with the graduated income tax for folks in that 250,000 to 500,000 range, now you want to give them $300 back.

    I get that this is an election stunt. But reduce the upper limit on this and keep my $300 unless the state isn’t broke anymore.

    You want to do something useful that would not be very useful to me anymore, index the 529 contribution tax deduction cap to inflation (and increase it to what it would be now if it had been).


  31. - One Trick Pony - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 10:29 am:

    Suspending some taxes may be doable this year but as we continue up the pension ramp there will be a need for more revenues. It’s a good move politically in an election year but operationally this doesn’t help in the long run. That’s why you needed a progressive income tax. The pension ramp will be an ever increasing and structural part of the budget until 2045.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 10:30 am:

    ===56 other states===

    I think you meant *52* states. #TyposAreTheWorst

    As a wonky thing, I’d rather see more put towards things like pension debt or higher ed, but the politics to this “one off” relief in a budget the GOP will shock no one and “wholly reject”, including the tax relief, yeah, it might matter with tens of millions out forward and the “red” votes out there to defend…

    Taxing, as a whole, should be revisited, be it regressive taxes, services, income… but not in a Frerichs type discussion to seeming hurt seniors, but to the sheer math of revenues, smart revenues, that the state can see that might even lead to property tax relief with proper education funding.

    But, it’s about November, and not a huge fan of the thing, it’s likely a big thing to hammer and shake a great many in the GOP.


  33. - Martin j . Kennelly - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 10:35 am:

    It’s great to be an incumbent.


  34. - Arsenal - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 10:38 am:

    ==They might not care, because this is the year the GOP base is ride-or-die on the blatantly racist anti-CRT theme, antivax/anti-mask, and Trumpism.==

    There’s the Republican Base, and then there’s voters who might vote Republican and might vote for Democrats, or might vote or might stay home. This play is aimed at those voters.

    ==So, no money for voters south of I-74?==

    And let’s be clear, it’s not even really about them. Property taxes? This is about the suburbs.


  35. - Donnie Elgin - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 10:43 am:

    Election year largesse, won’t make a noticeable difference to the average family’s budget. May boost his popularity and pull a few votes over the Dems.


  36. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 10:44 am:

    ===now you want to give them $300 back===

    It’s basically just doubling the credit that’s included in current statute https://www2.illinois.gov/rev/questionsandanswers/Pages/46.aspx


  37. - Sue - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 10:56 am:

    Putting an extra billion into pensions will save us more money over time then a measly 300 one reduction in our RE taxes


  38. - Back to the Future - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 10:56 am:

    Ow
    Good eye..
    Typos have always been a problem, but this problem was the result of looking at older numbers. 52 states don’t tax groceries. Illinois should join the vast majority of states that somehow survive without taxing groceries.
    People with smaller incomes spend a larger percentage on food and this kind of tax is regressive. We spend about 43 billion a year and surely we can get by without this regressive tax.
    If the Dems won’t address this tax then perhaps the Republicans should put that idea out.


  39. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 10:58 am:

    Sue, that’s true. It’s also true that people really don’t care, despite the media hooplah.


  40. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 11:06 am:

    ===52 states===

    I tried to help ya…

    :)


  41. - Arsenal - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 11:12 am:

    ==Putting an extra billion into pensions will save us more money over time then a measly 300 one reduction in our RE taxes ==

    There’s a couple of assumptions built into that assertion, not the least of which being that the definition of “us” is at all meaningful to a lot of people.


  42. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 11:24 am:

    I would be more concerned if these turn into permanent cuts. Ideally, the state would rework the whole tax system to meet our budget needs while more fairly distributing the tax burden. It does bother me when so few folks are willing to discuss the importance of what the tax dollars are spent on (education, public safety, infrastructure, etc.) and that if you value those important services you should expect to pay for them.


  43. - Juvenal - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 11:32 am:

    The Tax Foundation says 14 states have a sales tax on groceries, and I believe them:

    https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/fiscal-fact/state-sales-tax-groceries-ff-09202021

    The old adage certainly rings true, “Anything posted on a blog or social media that seems ‘too conveniently to support someone’s worldview to be true’ is probably false” holds true once again.

    The more complicated truth is that Illinois relies too much on a hodge-podge of taxes with a bevy of loopholes to
    Make any underlying sense. It’s where many liberals find themselves in agreement with Ken Griffin.

    As for this offering from JB, it’s a great press release, but it also reminds me of Blagojevich’s “Free Transit for Seniors” approach. JB is going to propose suspending these taxes and I can almost guarantee you how Republicans will respond.


  44. - DuPage Guy - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 11:39 am:

    I’m wondering if this is part of a broader strategy. Increase the EITC nad Child Credit, giving lower-middle incomes more money back in an election year. Next year increase the income tax rate to offset the revenue losses essentially making it revenue neutral and not worrying about a backlash until 2024.


  45. - Blake - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 11:40 am:

    What’s the status with the potential big increase to unemployment insurance rates? That would bring a big risk toward higher taxes also grabbing headlines.


  46. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 11:42 am:

    ===I’m wondering if ===

    Maybe lay off the weed in the morning.


  47. - Blue Dog - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 11:45 am:

    Property tax relief, IMO, is essential to the well being of our state. Brilliant minds are available to enact the legislative component to make this a reality with a progressive income tax. It can happen. It must happen. Give tax payers the assurances they want to hear and they will give you a progressive income tax.


  48. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 12:16 pm:

    LOL… the Irvin response…

    “Yeah, well… look over here”

    Wait till Bourne votes red on tax relief, and the budget, Demmer too.

    This is quite a silly way to go about this.


  49. - Arsenal - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 12:21 pm:

    ==This is quite a silly way to go about this. ==

    Yeah, but what else can they really do? “Pritzker proposes $1B in tax breaks” is just good headlines for the other side.

    Lay down your markers and then just wait in the cut for the news cycle to move on.


  50. - Lurker - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 12:24 pm:

    It seems the following is incorrect. Republicans do not want a tax cut if it comes from a democrat, according to Irvin.

    “Huh? Everybody likes getting money back from the government. Not just right-wing hard-R Republicans.”


  51. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 12:31 pm:

    ===Lay down your markers and then just wait in the cut for the news cycle to move on.===

    The real problem is when Bourne abd Demmer vote.

    They coulda said(?)

    “Glad to see Gov. Pritzker finally realize how high taxes are his record and realizing wanting more tax money is not the way to help Illinois. Admitting failures a bit too late.”

    At least make it something to talk about?

    Their reminder is tired boring.


  52. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 12:33 pm:

    “Pritzker spent $58 million in an attempt to enact the largest tax hike in Illinois history on families, small businesses and farmers.”

    That’s fun. But what he actually did was spend $58 million to attempt to enact the smallest tax cut in Illionis history (for 90-95% of people).


  53. - Nick - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 12:34 pm:

    This is not that much money going back to the people


  54. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 12:36 pm:

    “This is not that much money going back to the people”

    Nope. This is a state government. No matter what they do, it always is way less than the federal government. Something something gift horse something mouth.


  55. - Arsenal - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 12:50 pm:

    ==The real problem is when Bourne abd Demmer vote.==

    Yeah, that’s the “fun” of the strategy Pritzker is laying out here.

    ==They coulda said==

    Yeah, that probably woulda been better.


  56. - Da big bad wolf - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 12:54 pm:

    “So a little while back you passed a tax rate with a significant couples penalty that would have been implemented with the graduated income tax for folks in that 250,000 to 500,000 range, now you want to give them $300 back.”
    According to the fair tax calculator, a married couple making $250,000 a year would get a $65 decrease in state taxes.


  57. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 12:58 pm:

    ===LOL… the Irvin response…===

    It’s not like the GOP can run on their record of sound fiscal management of the state.

    ===This tax plan would have given politicians in Springfield unlimited power to raise taxes at their discretion on every family in Illinois.===

    I really enjoy when someone who is running for Governor of the State of Illinois demonstrates that they and their staff are completely ignorant of a key concept like levying income taxes works. This is literally a power the government has right now and they are required to raise taxes on 100% of households by the Constitution. Pritzker was literally trying to change the constitution so that they wouldn’t have to raise taxes on low income folks in order to tax rich people for their fair share of the government which supports their ability to be rich.

    Just amazing. Either woefully ignorant or intentionally dishonest. Why ask voters to decide if you’re stupid or if you’re lying?

    I can’t believe the Governor spent $50 million to lose on this issue and still have it be used against him in re-election like the amendment had carried.


  58. - Captain Obvious - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 12:59 pm:

    So blatantly an election year gimmick that it insults the intelligence, but I won’t look this gift horse in the mouth. A few hundred bucks is always welcome. But since the biggest relief is in property taxes, I don’t think the poorest among us will get the level of relief they need from the current bidenflation.


  59. - SaulGoodman - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 1:07 pm:

    **This tax plan would have given politicians in Springfield unlimited power to raise taxes at their discretion on every family in Illinois.**

    I know facts don’t matter to #TeamGriffin, but…

    They literally have this exact power now.


  60. - Give Us Barabbas - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 1:17 pm:

    Oh, and, when the temporary tax break expires, the GOP will characterize it as a tax hike. You can take that to the bank.


  61. - Thomas Paine - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 1:35 pm:

    === • Pritzker has let some of society’s worst criminals back onto the streets early, including multiple convicted murderers. They include a woman who shot her 21-month-old child and a man who beat his baby to death. ===

    Literally Willie Horton ad in the pipeline, apparently.


  62. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 1:45 pm:

    ===Literally Willie Horton ad in the pipeline===

    Horton committed a crime after he was released. These people apparently did not.


  63. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 1:50 pm:

    “to cover up his record of out-of-control crime and higher taxes, here is a quick reminder of the sad and scary”

    GOP always gonna GOP. It’s the same bad meal, served over and over, in every election. Reagan ran on positivity and change, did he not? What’s the GOP running on but fear of crime, government and taxes? Always attacking, but where is the kindness and uplifting?


  64. - Rabid - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 1:54 pm:

    Taxing business is plan B, taxing millionaires was pan A


  65. - City Zen - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 3:01 pm:

    ==According to the fair tax calculator, a married couple making $250,000 a year would get a $65 decrease in state taxes.==

    Now do any amount over $253,000.

    In a little over one year, JB pivoted from giving married couples in that tax bracket a multi-thousand dollar tax increase to a $300 tax rebate.


  66. - thechampaignlife - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 3:19 pm:

    ===Now do any amount over $253,000.===

    $260,000 gets a $90 increase, not the multi-thousands you allege. And, people in that bracket are in the top 3% of earners, so spare the rest of us your pearl clutching.


  67. - Arsenal - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 3:25 pm:

    ==In a little over one year, JB pivoted from giving married couples in that tax bracket a multi-thousand dollar tax increase to a $300 tax rebate. ==

    In between those two, the voters stepped in and said “no thanks” to the first one.

    We really need to get over this idea that changing your mind is bad in politics. We’re now to the point where we pretend to think it’s bad to change your mind *Even when the facts change*.


  68. - City Zen - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 3:29 pm:

    ==$260,000 gets a $90 increase, not the multi-thousands you allege==

    $300K gets a $1,335 increase, $350K a $2,735 increase, $400K a $4,185 increase. Like I said, multi. If you have a problem with that, take it up with JB. It was his tax plan, not mine.

    ==And, people in that bracket are in the top 3% of earners==

    Then why is he now giving them a $300 tax rebate?


  69. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 3:33 pm:

    Once you realize - City Zen - advocates for the top 1-3%, then you realize arguing merits to things income becomes a waste.

    Add organized labor… it’s a twin bill.

    Right now, if one doesn’t want the $300, donate it to a social service in the names of both Rauner and Pritzker…


  70. - DMC - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 3:42 pm:

    Ridiculous and poor planning for the future.


  71. - What year is it? - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 3:50 pm:

    An even one, and to boot an even one with the Governor up. This isn’t a plan calculated to focus on what would be best to do for state finances with $1 billion or a plan focused on the lowest income people. It’s a political plan in an election year to offer $1 billion in one time tax relief to middle class people. Of course some of the relief will go to lower income people and some to higher income people - but it’s designed to appeal to the middle - food cost, gas cost, property taxes - exactly what the average suburban complainer complains about. So A+ for politics, C for soundness of policy. Guess what the Governor cares most about in even years when he’s on the ballot.


  72. - What year is it? - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 3:52 pm:

    As for the Republicans he could propose their actual agenda from their website (if they actually had a website with an agenda) and they’d still have issued the exact same release blasting him.


  73. - low level - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 4:03 pm:

    Maybe Eleni Demertzis can explain how Mayor Irvin “called out the National Guard” in the umpteen ads we saw yesterday since only the Governor can do that.

    Meaning Governor Pritzker called them out last year.


  74. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 4:04 pm:

    ==As for this offering from JB, it’s a great press release, but it also reminds me of Blagojevich’s “Free Transit for Seniors” approach. ==

    Or when Ryan suspended the gas tax from July-Dec. 2000 when gas was first “approaching” $2. All while he was trying to pay for his Illinois First largesse. We all know how that turned out.


  75. - low level - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 4:05 pm:

    Talk about “rewriting history”…


  76. - sulla - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 4:19 pm:

    I understand the Governor’s need for the headline in an election year. But sheesh, I wish we would just pay down some pension debt with this windfall.

    Let’s plant some trees instead of eating the acorns (for once).


  77. - thechampaignlife - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 4:37 pm:

    ===Like I said, multi. If you have a problem with that===

    I get how a progressive tax works, thanks. Larger income equals larger tax difference.

    ===Now do any amount over $253,000===

    Tell me again how $260k owes multi-thousands more? Or is $260k now less than $253k?

    ===Then why is he now giving them a $300 tax rebate?===

    Because the $14.7M saved by excluding the 3% is a rounding error not worth worrying much about. $300 ain’t much to them anyways. But don’t worry, he is still sticking it to those that make more than $500k just to make you happy.


  78. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 4:40 pm:

    To UpdateX3

    ===they’ve come up with an excuse to not vote for the governor’s plan…===

    Right now, first blush, it’s all about being able to have GOP members be red on a budget that cuts taxes by $1 billion and a $300 check to boot.

    That’s the politics to this whole spiel, the Pritzker plan, and threading a needle to be for it, by voting against it… and deflect this idea they are against relief to “taxpayers”

    (We are all taxpayers)


  79. - Juvenal - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 5:22 pm:

    To the Updates:

    Like I said, totally predictable response from the Republicans.

    Democrats will say they cut taxes. Republicans will say they want to cut taxes more.

    Democrats almost always lose elections that are about 1) Who do you trust to cut your taxes? and 2) Who do you trust to keep you safe?

    I hope for JB’s sake he has a plan to pivot to another message.


  80. - Blue Dog - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 5:47 pm:

    there’s definitely some things in update 3 that I support. I also support some of JBs initiative. let’s roll up our sleeves and get er done


  81. - Thomas Paine - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 10:08 pm:

    I am sorry, but how does Chapin 1) propose increasing the standard decuction for senior citizens only by $1000; 2) think seniors will see much savings when retirement income is untaxed in Illinois or 3) imagine saving $50 on their taxes will make a difference in the lives of seniors?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Today's number: 19
* Afternoon roundup
* AG Raoul files SAFE-T Act appeal with Illinois Supreme Court
* How domestic violence is often a precursor to other violent crimes
* Bears unveil subsidy bill
* DeVore loses bizarro election case in Normal
* Not too hard to predict how this judge is gonna rule
* Pritzker leans into College Board fight with DeSantis: "Black history is American History"
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Pritzker endorses candidates in nearly two dozen Chicago aldermanic races
* Isabel’s morning roundup
* Open thread
* Live coverage
* Yesterday's stories

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