Illinois Republican lawmakers held a press conference Monday criticizing the Democrats' and gubernatorial candidate JB Pritzker's plans to raise state income taxes again. Illinois Democrats and several Republicans agreed to raise Illinois voters' taxes 32% last year. The governor nor IL GOP Leadership were able to whip their caucuses votes enough to uphold the governor's veto of the tax hike.
During the press conference, Republicans said:
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin:
"Mr. Pritzker has made raising taxes a central theme of his campaign. After the Mike Madigan 32% permanent income tax last year on all Illinoisans, including the middle class and low income workers. Pritzker now wants to raise the current rate against all Illinoisans until he can change the constitution so he could ram through what he has called the graduated tax system. Why? For more Democrat spending, which is the root evil and the root problem of all issues that we have in Springfield."
Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady:
"I don't even think Pat Quinn or Rod Blagojevich would have the gumption to talk about forcing a tax increase on the backs of Illinois families and businesses. We already have one of the highest property taxes in the nation if not the highest as JB Pritzker knows very well. It's time to reduce the tax burden on families and businesses.
"…These calls by JB Pritzker and Mike Madigan and John Cullerton will not work to create opportunities for Illinois families. So candidate Pritzker, come clean with what your tax proposals truly are, but as you do that, you ought to reconsider Governor Rauner's proposal which is reducing the tax burden on families and businesses."
State Representative Grant Wehrli:
"JB Pritzker’s solution to Illinois’s fiscal woes could not be any more simplistic. It is simply a higher tax burden on all of us. It is an intellectually lazy approach to governance, there is nothing on the reform side, there is nothing on the cut side, there is nothing on the integration of technology to make our state government more productive. Intellectually lazy solution to our fiscal problems."
State Representative Keith Wheeler:
"Small business owners don’t hide their money offshore, overseas accounts, they pay taxes and create jobs, and they do the little things in our communities that make a difference, like sponsor that baseball team or promote a dance recital, so if you’re a small business owner, or you work for a small business, pay close attention. JB Pritzker’s tax increase is going to hit you, and it’s going to hit you hard. And here’s why: when a small business moves to another state, closes its doors, it never even opens, because the entrepreneur can’t see a way to make ends meet because our taxes are too high and still going up. Well then that real life toll on the family in Illinois that loses that job or never gets that opportunity, that’s real impact, so make no mistake. The Pritzker-Madigan tax increase will crush Illinois small businesses and kill Illinois jobs."
State Representative Deanne Mazzochi:
"JB Pritzker says that he won’t commit to the rates, that he’s going to take from our social service workers, our teachers, our farmers, truck drivers, doctors, business owners, and the rest of the middle class, because he needs to work with the legislature. And again, we know what that means—Pritzker puppet, Madigan master. JB’s commercials, that Madigan-Pritzker tax hike, is only going to hit the billionaire class, is a flat lie."
State Representative David Olsen:
"I think that the critical point is that this math doesn’t work unless there is a tax increase on the middle class, and so JB Pritzker’s plan—oh we’re just going to focus on the billionaires, that he’s going to pay more, it sounds nice, except that means a tax increase on every working family in Illinois, and that is really something that we cannot afford."
State Representative Peter Breen:
"JB Pritzker, as one of my colleagues declared he only made $15 million in income but had $120 million available to spend on his political campaign. So this guy is bad faith in a state where we have had enough bad faith we have had enough corruption. We need people, leaders, and policies that give people hope for the future and that’s something Governor Rauner is trying to bring to the state and we fully support him in terms of those policies that will turn around our state. Again, this is a tax cheat, pushing tax hikes. He is absolutely in bad faith and in the most corrupt and bankrupt state in the country and we can't afford it."
State Representative Steve Reick:
"What we’re going to be left with are a whole bunch of people making less and less money providing less and less revenue in an economy that continues to stagnate. So whatever JB Pritzker is selling, I’m not buying it, nor should you.
"…He’s wasting an awful lot of money on ads talking about taxing the rich. Let’s find out what he’s going to do about taxing the middle class, because that’s what’s going to happen."