Recently, Lyman Stone, economist with the non-partisan Tax Foundation and Joseph Henchman, the organization’s Vice President of State Operations joined with Illinois lawmakers for a downtown Chicago press conference. There, the Tax Foundation unveiled the sobering findings of a recent study which shows the potential impact of the proposed progressive income tax. As their “Fiscal Fact No. 411” illustrates, “Looking exclusively at changes to income tax rates, had HJRCA0033 and the proposed rates been in place on July 1, 2013, the snapshot date for our 2014 State Business Tax Climate Index, Illinois would have ranked 44th best for business tax climate, rather than 31st.” Illinois had previously ranked 17th on the index as recently as 2011. The Tax Foundation analyzed one of the two rate schedules put forth for consideration, that suggested by the progressive income tax’s main proponent in Springfield, which include seven brackets with a top marginal rate of nine percent. Another, more harmful proposal includes eight brackets culminating in a top marginal rate of 11 percent.
“With credit ratings agencies suggesting that Illinois faces a risk of slipping back into recession, Illinois policymakers should address structural spending issues to repair the state’s finances,” said Tax Foundation Economist Lyman Stone. “Extending what was meant to be a temporary tax increase, or significantly increasing the state’s income tax still further, would sidestep these fundamental issues while worsening the state’s already shaky economic footing.”
Among the nine lawmakers in attendance were members of Republican leadership and the chief sponsors of both the House and Senate resolutions which oppose the progressive income tax and support the current, flat income tax.
Attending the Tax Foundation press conference were:
State Sen. Michael Connelly (R-Wheaton)
State Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine), Chief Sponsor of S.R. 383
State Rep. John Anthony (R-Morris)
State Rep. Patricia Bellock (R-Westmont), Deputy Republican Leader
State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton)
State Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington), Chief Sponsor of H.R. 241
State Rep. Thomas Morrison (R-Palatine)
State Rep. Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove)
State Rep. Ed Sullivan (R-Mundelein)
AFP-Illinois believes that this notion of amending the Illinois Constitution to scrap our current flat tax and switch to a graduated, or “progressive,” one would serve to further destroy our state’s economy and will do nothing to help improve our dismal job climate. As the next step in the on-going effort to oppose this proposal, AFP-Illinois recently unveiled a new website, www.NoProgressiveTax.com, where citizens can sign our petition. Currently online ads are running in six districts represented by House Democrats as well as undertaking extensive grassroots efforts including over a dozen town hall meetings across the state.
“Our organization will continue to stand with taxpayers and employers to fight this disastrous proposal until it is defeated,” said AFP-Illinois State Director David From. “Our legislators need to focus on encouraging job growth and investment in Illinois so families and business can make Illinois home. Instead, they are trying to take even more of their hard-earned money, again.”