Government Bytes


Lame duck tax hike looms in Illinois

by John Stephenson / /

Illinois lawmakers return to the State Capitol in Springfield today, purportedly to conduct the people's business in a lame duck session until the new session begins on January 12th. Unfortunately for Illinois taxpayers, the first order of business in the lame duck for Governor Pat Quinn, House Speaker Mike Madigan, and Senate President John Cullerton could be a massive tax hike.

For months, Quinn has pushed for an increase, from 3% to 4%, in the state's personal income tax rate, a 33% increase. But Quinn's tax hike proposal went nowhere at first. Now, the Northwest Herald reports that Speaker Madigan has been calling and polling members of his caucus to see if they are open to a tax hike. What's worse, there are indications that Madigan might be inquiring to see if his caucus, which controls the Illinois House, might be open to a proposal to increase the income tax by 66 percent, which has already passed the Illinois Senate. Furthermore, there are also reports from taxpayer advocates in Illinois that the income tax could be coupled with an expansion of the sales tax and a $1 per pack cigarette tax hike.

An income tax hike would be devastating for Illinois's hardworking families. The non-partisan Illinois Policy Institutefound that the 33% income tax hike will result a $1,353personal income hit for each Illinois household or a loss of over 107,000private sector jobs. Further, a straight sales tax expansion will increase the costs of goods for consumers. Cigarette tax hikes also disproportionately burden the poor and drive away business from convenience stores and retailers, which ultimately results in a loss in revenue. What's more, this proposals, which amount to one massive tax hike, will not get at the root of the fiscal problems in Illinois, namely massive overspending and the high cost of generous public employee pensions and benefits.

The only way to stop this coming, massive tax hike is for Illinois taxpayers to speak out against them. Click here to find your representatives in the Illinois General Assembly. Call them and tell them that Illinois needs to get it's spending under control; it doesn't need to be raising taxes on hardworking families.