CHICAGO – In a concession statement Wednesday morning, the "Vote Yes For Fairness" Chairman Quentin Fulks blamed Republicans and threatened those that opposed the statewide effort to eliminate the state constitution's flat tax.
"Fair Tax opponents must answer for whatever comes next," Fulks said.
Governor JB Pritzker put over $50 million into the effort to divide the state's taxpayers up into different income tax rates according to their wealth. They claimed to want to tax billionaires and millionaires more – even though of the state's 18 billionaires, almost half are members of the Pritzker family.
The effort was soundly opposed by several business groups – one of which was led by the Technology & Manufacturing Association based in Schaumburg, Illinois. Earlier this month, TMA's President Steve Rauschenberger addressed the threats.
"With or without new income tax authority, the State of Illinois should be reducing expenditures and cutting programs, not going to market to borrow more money," Rauschenberger, a former state senator and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee when the budget was balanced, said.
"The Governor should be calling a Special Legislative session as many other Governors have to deal with the impact of COVID, and to revise the State budget," he said. "Neither this Governor or the current Legislative leaders have taken seriously their obligation to operate on a balanced budget, and to hold public hearings."
Fulks response to the loss was angry.
“We are undoubtedly disappointed with this result but are proud of the millions of Illinoisans who cast their ballots in support of tax fairness in this election," he said in a statement. “Illinois is in a massive budget crisis due to years of a tax system that has protected millionaires and billionaires at the expense of our working families, a crisis that was only made worse by the Coronavirus pandemic."
Fulks insisted the state's budget problems were Republicans' fault, although the Democrats have had control of both houses since Rauschenberger retired from the Senate.
"Republican legislators and their billionaire allies who brought us the dysfunction and pain of the [Gov. Bruce] Rauner years continue to stand in the way of common-sense solutions, choosing instead to play partisan games and deceive the working families of our state," Fulks said. "Now lawmakers must address a multi-billion dollar budget gap without the ability to ask the wealthy to pay their fair share. Fair Tax opponents must answer for whatever comes next."
Rauschenberger balked at the threat.
"The cause of any further downgrade in Illinois bond ratings are the result of 10 years of financial mismanagement, not COVID or the 'Progressive Tax' controversy."
Illinois has a spending problem. Not a taxing problem.
Love Saves Lives
Pritzker’s deep pocket 50 million investment in his FAT TAX didn’t work so he will promise to Fulks with Illinois tax payers in other ways. Illinois taxes are currently among the highest in America and the Tax & Spend addicts can’t even think about cutting the 12,000 new jobs hired in 2020 or downsizing our obese government to be closer to the average size/cost per capita of the other 50 States.
If we are going to compete to rebuild our state we need to do it by gaining more people/customers NOT MORE TAXES!! To gain more customers we need to become the state that competes again. Wouldn’t it be amazing to be the state where jobs are abundant because small businesses can THRIVE AGAIN! We can only accomplish this through LESS TAX and MORE PEOPLE..
As Pritzker Fulks with Illinois customers with excessive tax , customers will continue to move!
Before this tyrannical approach was even considered maybe Pritzker and Madigan should have been approving fiscally responsible BALANCED budgets as REQUIRED by the state Constitution. They have SYSTEMATICALLY AVOIDED both FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE and BALANCED for years and Mafia Mike is the more corrupt culprit.
Voters LACK OF TRUST in this demonic duo is the real issue!
Like the spoiled rich kid he is, Pritzker throws a tantrum and threatens retaliation for not getting his way.
Yeah, fat boy. Raise EVERYONE’S taxes now. Bur wasn’t that the REAL intent of your misnamed “Fair Tax” referendum anyway?
Now you can drive still more taxpayers out of this state, and many will be MIDDLE-CLASS ones.
Perhaps the Governor’s $50 million should have been spent on a constitutional amendment re-defining pensions so that spending goes down or perhaps compiling a list of the top ten reasons why residents are fleeing the state and try to address those reasons.