CHICAGO – Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a press release Thursday laying out what he called a temporary relief plan for Illinois families struggling to make ends meet with skyrocketing inflation on groceries, gas and utilities.
The "relief" Pritzker boasts means little, if anything to the average Illinoisan, one family group leader told Illinois Review.
"Billionaire Pritzker must be tone-deaf," David E. Smith, executive director of Illinois Family Action said. "His 'temporary' relief plan does very little for working families. High taxes plus the unreasonable costs of gasoline, electricity, and groceries have all but destroyed discretionary spending."
While the majority of families in Illinois have very little in terms of saving reserves, government bureaucrats continue to demand more and more from taxpayers, Smith said.
"In fact, Pritzker is calling for a special session to discuss more money for Planned Parenthood to pay for abortions with our tax dollars. Once again, digging deeper into our pockets," he said.
"The Illinois General Assembly and the Pritzker Administration are oblivious to the needs of working families who are struggling to make ends meet. They say that they are fighting to help struggling families, but year after year their focus has been on expanding the state bureaucracy," he said.
Next year, after the November election, tax increases, fees and energy costs will bounce back up, Smith said.
The Family Relief Plan includes several tax holidays, meaning a temporary cut in taxes, including:
- Groceries: The state’s 1% sales tax on groceries will be suspended July 1 through June 30, 2023, saving consumers $400 million.
- Gas: The state’s normally scheduled increase in the motor fuel tax will be delayed from July 1 to January 2023, saving consumers $70 million.
- School supplies: Sales taxes for qualified clothing and school-related items will be reduced from 6.25% to 1.25% for a 10-day window from August 5 to 14, saving consumers $50 million.
Items include qualifying clothing and footwear with a retail selling price of less than $125 per item. Eligible school supplies are not subject to the $125 threshold.
In addition, the plan permanently expands the state’s earned income credit from 18% to 20% of the federal credit, while expanding the number of households covered, putting an additional $100 million per year back into the pockets of working families who need it the most.
The State of Illinois is also providing property tax rebates for eligible homeowners in an amount equal to the property tax credit they qualified for on their 2021 Illinois tax returns, up to a maximum of $300. The rebate is not allowed if a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income for the taxable year exceeds $500,000 for returns with a federal filing status of married filing jointly, or $250,000 for all other returns.
Additionally, individuals who made less than $200,000 in 2021 will receive $50 income tax rebates. Couples filing jointly with incomes under $400,000 will receive $100. Tax filers will also receive $100 per dependent they claimed on their 2021 taxes, up to three dependents.
Income and property tax rebates will be automatically issued to all of the estimated 6.2 million taxpayers who qualify under the Family Relief Plan based on information included in their submitted 2021 tax returns. Comptroller Susanna Mendoza will issue the rebates and expects to begin to cut checks the week of September 12. Distribution will take roughly eight weeks after the rollout begins.
"It is absurd to think that this temporary 'government 'assistance' is anything more than an attempt to distract voters from the situation that left-wing policies have fostered," Smith told Illinois Review.
"Most voters understand that burden of bigger government falls to taxpayers who are being nickeled and dimed to death. Suddenly, and in an election season, state “leaders” want to give us pennies back to help us pay for the inflated costs of living. No thanks!"