Illinois

Illinois' Governor Begs Citizens To Let Government Tax Them Even More

Lawmakers are bribing citizens with a tiny tax break in exchange for the power to jack up income tax rates down the line.

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Citizens of Illinois pay a lot of taxes, but on Election Day, state leaders are begging its residents for permission to tax them even more.

The state currently ranks seventh nationally in sales taxes and second in property taxes. But Illinois is one of only 11 states that have a flat income tax rate for all residents, regardless of income bracket. That rate is 4.95 percent. Democratic leaders, headed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, want to change the flat tax to a graduated income tax in order to jack up the rate on the state's wealthiest citizens.

State lawmakers already approved a bill for this transition in June 2019. Their proposed graduated tax system would slightly cut taxes for people making less than $100,000 a year, but dramatically increase the tax rate for those making more than $250,000 a year to 7.75 percent at a minimum.

Having a flat tax is embedded in the state's constitution, so lawmakers need to get voters to approve a rewrite in order to actually implement the tax change. So voters will consider referendum SJR1, officially titled "Illinois Allow for Graduated Tax Amendment." Pritzker isn't just the amendment's top spokesman; he's also far and away the amendment's biggest financial backer, contributing more than $56 million to the committees pushing for its passage.

Pritzker is calling it a "fair" tax and claiming that 97 percent of Illinois residents will actually see their income taxes decline with the new rates. He even put up a tax calculator to allow people to see what they'd save. It's all being marketed as a plan to get more money from the state's richest.

Under Illinois constitutional referendum rules, in order to pass, either 60 percent of the people who vote on the referendum have to say yes, or more than 50 percent of all voters who cast ballots have to approve it.

Here's the problem. Voters aren't actually voting to implement Pritzker's specific tax numbers. They are, in fact, just voting to grant lawmakers the authority to set graduated tax rates. It just so happens that Pritzker and lawmakers have this particular plan that will be implemented should the vote pass. But those numbers aren't going to be set in stone in the constitution. This referendum grants lawmakers the authority to continue to adjust and, of course, increase these tax rates.

A single person earning $50,000 a year will save all of $39 a year under this new tax plan. That's not a lot of savings in exchange for giving lawmakers the power to jack up tax rates in subsequent years. The nonprofit Illinois Policy Institute (which is suing over what they claim is a deceptive ballot description of the referendum) looked at what happened when Connecticut switched from a flat tax to a graduated tax, and it set off red flags:

Claims that the middle class will not see an increase might be true at first, but middle class taxes have gone up 13% in Connecticut since they switched to a progressive tax from a flat rate—the only state to do so in the past 30 years. The middle class is where the bulk of taxable income exists, and Pritzker already made $10 billion worth of spending promises from a $3.7 billion tax before COVID-19 put a $4.6 billion hole in state revenues. Moreover, only $200 million of the new tax is expected to go toward the state's No. 1 fiscal threat—increasing pension costs.

Illinois still has huge, looming unfunded pension problems. Between 2001 and 2009, according to data collected by the Reason Foundation (the nonprofit that publishes this site), the funding status of pensions for government employees within the state dropped from 70 to 51 percent. And the loss of travel and tourism revenue to Illinois due to COVID-19 partly accounts for that hole in state revenue.

Illinois remains desperate for money to keep up with its pension obligations and debts. Unsurprisingly, this tax referendum is endorsed by all the major public employee unions.

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  1. Stop electing Democrats.

    1. Stop electing politicians.

      FTFY

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  2. And even more of the rich people in Chicago will move to Munster in, and the rich people north of chi will move to wis

    1. Munster is old news, they’ve been going to St John for over a decade now

      1. Makes sence I left chi 13 years ago

        1. My wife and I left last year. Couldn’t afford St John, but I work in Munster lol

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  3. That fat fuck doesn’t even pay his own fair share. He cheated on his property taxes when he removed the toilets from one of his mansions and claimed it was a distressed property. He won’t reveal his finances probably because his trust is set up to avoid all taxes. He should have been thrown in jail with Blagoyevich when he was caught bribing Blago for a government job.

    1. That would keep him well within Illinois tradition: “Illinois: where the governors make the license plates”.

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    2. That one saves him about $230K per year, which of course is nothing to a guy worth $3.4B. The tax assessor is also culpable there and no doubt wanting to keep in favor with the governor. For the sake of 5 toilets, he reduced the home value from $6M to $1M.

      I’ll bet those toilets went right back in there after the reassessment too. They could all be pulled back out and put into storage on an hour’s notice.

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  4. Pritzker is calling it a “fair” tax and claiming that 97 percent of Illinois residents will actually see their income taxes decline with the new rates. . . . It’s all being marketed as a plan to get more money from the state’s richest.

    Do these people just not *get* how easy it is for the top 3% of earners in any location to just . . . move?

    So, 5 years from now after the richest of the rich have left, they’ve got an even bigger budget problem.

    1. I think the idiots don’t realize that most of the truly rich don’t have that large of income streams, because being truly rich is owning things not cash.

      1. The already-rich like to jack up income taxes because it keeps new money competition down.

    2. They really don’t. See all the outrage with Amazon after they threatened to leave Seattle due to the taxes explicitly targeting Amazon.

      You’re just supposed to let them steal from you, anything else is beyond comprehension.

    3. He is an Illinois governor. He will be in jail five years from now and it will be someone else’s problem.

      1. There are two differences between Priztker and Blaggo. Pritzker is worth about $3.5B and Blaggo is worth about $100K. Second, Blaggo’s dominant personality trait is that he’s a loud mouth who sinks his own ship while Pritzker is the Personality Dark Triad, narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. In Blaggo’s case, those are a recipe for prison. In Pritzker’s case, that’s the perfect recipe for keeping his fat ass OUT of legal trouble. The only thing that Pritzker could do to land himself in that kind of trouble is to pull a Jeffrey Epstein.

    4. I’m still waiting for states like Illinois and California to build their own walls, complete with minefields. Not to keep immigrants out but to keep taxpayers from escaping.

      1. California found that they didn’t need a wall – just a law that says you have to pay them taxes on your worldwide income for up to 10 years after you move.

    5. Do these people just not *get* how easy it is for the top 3% of earners in any location to just . . . move?

      That’s why Dems / left wingers want taxation at the federal level instead of states. Forcing all states into the same program prevents competition which they know in the long run will expose their model as deficient.

      1. Voting with your feet is seen by them as a bug in the system, not a feature. How dare you escape their detailed control. It’s synonymous with goodness and right thinking

  5. Jesus Christ! How about a little trigger warning before you spring a picture like that on an unsuspecting public?

    1. You should see his brother, er, sister.

    2. Yes, Pritzker the Hut is quite a lot to take in.

  6. Fat pig wants a bigger trough. News at 11.

  7. Consent of the governed. As it should be. The voters get to choose if they want to give the government that taxing power.

    1. Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard. H.L. Mencken

  8. That picture doesn’t even need an explanation, one look at that guy and I’d immediately guess he’s a scumbag politician from Illinois.

    1. He kinda has that high-end-timeshare-sales/mafiosa-but-more-cheesy look. Gonna bet he’s stolen his share of lunch money cuz “it was mine”. Apparently the only thing he can’t buy himself is a diet.

  9. Pass the amendment or not, they’re still going to have to raise taxes

    1. They likely will do just that because this is Illinois. However, everyone should feel it when government raises taxes. It’s a recipe for disaster when you have 2/3 the population that can vote higher taxes on the other 1/3 and not feel even the smallest amount of pain in their own wallet. I’m not a fan of income tax or graduated tax, but if they are going to have it, citizens that vote a 30% raise in taxes should also see their rate increase 30%

    2. You saying that it’s impossible to cut spending?

  10. “Illinois still has huge, looming unfunded pension problems. Between 2001 and 2009, according to data collected by the Reason Foundation (the nonprofit that publishes this site), the funding status of pensions for government employees within the state dropped from 70 to 51 percent.”

    One of the best reasons to vote for President Trump is because if he’s reelected, states like Illinois won’t get a federal bailout.

    If Biden is elected and goes through with his support for the Democrats’ plan to spend $1 trillion bailing out the states, the reaction to it should be bigger than the Tea Party reaction to Congress bailing out Wall Street by way of TARP.

    Why should federal taxpayers be forced to pay for the unfunded pension liabilities of states like California, Illinois, and New York–problems that predated the pandemic by a long shot–when they can’t even vote in those states–and their legislators refuse to reform their outrageously generous pension system?

    No taxation without representation!

    P.S. Joe Biden is a crook.

    1. It’s not like the feds have a budget surplus. They would just be borrowing for state spending. States should borrow to carry their own Wise Spending.

  11. Holy heck, that’s Pritzker? I guess Illinois is just up front electing guys who outright look corrupt.

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  13. when did Bill Swerski get elected governor?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBnnon_iZOM

  14. If you saw atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater the effort the heavier the world bore down upon his sholder – what would you tell him?

    1. Zeus made you his bitch and you just took it.

      1. You almost got out of it when Heracles had you fetch the golden apples, but he tricked you with most obvious ruse in all of Greco-Roman mythology (and that’s saying a lot)

    2. If you saw atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater the effort the heavier the world bore down upon his sholder – what would you tell him?

      Ask Herculese to take over for a minute so you can go pee, then bug out and move to a different state.

  15. What a shit headline. You yourself say it’ll cut it for people making under 100k. And only those making 250k or more would pay more. You make it sound as if everyone is getting higher taxes.

    This rag is complete shit.

    1. >>You make it sound as if everyone is getting higher taxes.

      you make it sound like this would be a one-time deal

    2. If the amendment passes the IL government will have the power to raise taxes on anyone at any time in the future, which is exactly what the headline states.

    3. Try reading the article as well as the headline.

    4. Stupidest post of the day, hands down.

      1. I’ll remind you the day is not nearly over and the poster is quite active when it wants to be.

    5. The current proposal in the legislature will cut the taxes of people under 100k, but…

      That’s not what we are voting on in the fall. We are voting on doing away with the flat tax.

      If the referendum passes, there is no guarantee that the politicians in Illinois will keep their promise to lower taxes on those making under 100k.

    6. Everyone is getting higher taxes – the budget won’t be cut, the rich will leave, an new bill (they won’t need an amendment next time) will be passed lowering the thresholds.

      The only difference is who’s getting cornholed first.

  16. I’ve been having this argument repeatedly with my fellow Chicagoans for months now. I point out that this gives Springfield the power to raise taxes whenever they want, and that there is no reason to think they won’t, but the supporters cannot see past the word “fairness.” They just reply “yeah but, this tax is fairer.” We are literally talking different languages.

    1. Voters deserve what they want, good and hard.

  17. The accountant’s and moving companies prosperity act of 2020.

  18. You know, governor, people and businesses can move out of Illinois. The Illinois border doesn’t have a wall. Yet…

  19. We definitely fall in the +$250,000 category, and we’re on our way out next spring. Hello, sunny and hot Arizona.

    We’re not about to give the wokesters and politicians more opportunity to rob us. Unfortunately, this state is so dominated by idiots in Chicago, I feel sorry for the rest downstate.

    1. unfortunately AZ has its own “class warfare… for the children tax” on the ballot this month as well, though i think it only starts fucking people over $400k.

      i have no read on whether or not it will pass, though i hope it doesnt.

    2. The progressives need to have their numbers thinned.

    3. Come to Florida.
      We have no state income tax at all.

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  21. Pritzker isn’t just the amendment’s top spokesman; he’s also far and away the amendment’s biggest financial backer, contributing more than $56 million to the committees pushing for its passage.

    There’s something ever so slightly sleazy about an elected politician bankrolling a campaign to increase taxes that will flow mainly back to expenses at his own discretion. Something something gotta spend money to make money. But I guess sleaze is a given in Illinois politics.

  22. How about the morbidly-obese governor go on a hunger strike until the budget is balanced ?!?

    1. Disney cartoon studio of yore: “This guy’s a politician.”

      “Draw him as a weasel, with dripping teeth and pointy nose?”

      “Nah, he’s incredibly rich. Draw him fat and sweaty with disheveled hair, and make it look like his breath smells of burped beer and salami.”

  23. Maybe they are dumb enough to pay me $500,000 to move there.

  24. The last time a Democrats told me things would become cheaper my monthly healthcare expenses tripled.

    1. Ditto. And for inferior coverage.

  25. Our current conundrum is how we resolve trust issues. Did politicians ever have integrity?

    If you vote on tax rates based on what politicians or the MSM is proclaiming without first solving the former issue, there is no reason to believe they will keep their word.

    This means vote no on everything until you have trustworthy people running transparent operations; certainly not how you would describe Illinois.

    1. Vote no isn’t always good enough. Politicians argue how to word proposals so they get the no vote, since many voters reflexively vote no.

      When Detroit went bankrupt a few years back, the state relied on a strong law to take over governance of insolvent cities.

      “Local rule” politicians got on the state ballot something to recall that law, which, if repealed, would devolve state power in such a situation to an earlier, weaker law.

      The proposal, as worded, pushed what the current law did and asked if it should be that way. Many got confused and thought that was a change to weaken it, rather than to keep it, so voted no. Surprise surprise, it was voted down, repealing the current law.

      Frauds. Liars. Politicians. But I repeat myself.

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  29. Ironically calling the change a “fair” tax. Fairness is all laws applying to all people equally. If taxes need to go up they go up on all, end the class warfare.

    1. Progressives will be the death of progress. They have moved the goalpost from equality for all to equality of outcomes.

  30. Why does he want to tax more? To give free stuff to all the NIGGERS living in Chicago. These men run around with their pants down having 50 keeds. Someone needs to snip their junk. These niggers are bankrupting my state of Illinois.

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