U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today urged Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to publically weigh-in on the Republican tax plans in the House and Senate and how these plans would impact Illinois families. Both the House and Senate bills would finance massive tax cuts for the largest corporations and wealthiest Americans by raising taxes on millions of middle-income families and eliminating vital tax breaks for people in Illinois.
“Given how quickly Republicans are attempting to ram their dangerous tax plans through the House of Representatives and the Senate and the serious threat these plans pose to the people of Illinois, we urge you to publicly announce your position on the Republican tax plans immediately,” Durbin and Duckworth wrote in a letter to Gov. Rauner.
Both plans take aim at the SALT deduction, with the Senate plan eliminating it completely and the House plan gutting the deduction. As the state with the fifth highest number of taxpayers who claim this deduction, Republican efforts to eliminate or gut SALT would hit Illinois especially hard. The roughly one-third of all taxpayers in Illinois who benefit from SALT would be subjected to double-taxation under the Republican plans and state and local governments would find it more difficult to fund essential local education programs, infrastructure projects, and social services.
Further, recently released changes to the Senate bill reveal that to fund tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest one percent, Senate Republicans plan to eliminate one of the three core pillars of the Affordable Care Act. As a result, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that 13 million Americans—including many in our state—will lose their health insurance and individual market premiums will increase by at least 10 percent.
Additionally, the House bill would eliminate the medical expense deduction, making it so that the more than 370,000 Illinois who depend on this deduction would no longer be able to claim an average $10,000 deduction to help offset costly out-of-pocket medical expenses. The House bill also takes aim at students in our state by eliminating the student loan interest deduction, preventing the more than 1.5 million Illinoisans who collectively hold $51 billion in federal student loan debt from deducting the interest gain on their loans.
Lastly, both Republican proposals would add $1.5 trillion to our nation’s deficit, which will undoubtedly be used in the future by Republican leaders to justify drastic cuts to federal spending on public assistance programs.
Last month, Durbin and Duckworth sent Gov. Rauner a letter outlining their concerns with one of the central components of the Republican tax plans, the elimination of the state and local tax deduction, and requested his feedback on how eliminating the deduction would impact Illinois families and Illinois’ economy. That letter has gone unanswered.
* The governor was asked about this topic yesterday…
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner continues to refuse to weigh in on matters before Congress with enormous bearing on Illinois. […]
Speaking to reporters in Chicago, Rauner climbed on a rhetorical fence.
“Federal tax reform is long overdue. We need to lower the tax burden on the federal level. We also have to lower the tax burden at the state level. And my focus is obviously here at the state level.” […]
“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.
* Stark partisan divide among lawmakers as House OKs tax plan
* How Illinois’ delegation voted on the Republican tax plan