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Lawmakers should let Illinoisans vote on tax hikes

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Amendment 1 has many more negatives than voters will ever realize, but one of those is a $2,100 property tax hike. Illinoisans should vote on all taxing and spending hikes, not just those presented to them as vague constitutional amendments.

Illinois political leaders have twice recently presented voters with vague changes to the state constitution that obscure the fact they would hike taxes, but it would be better if Illinois were straight with voters and let them vote on all tax increases like other states do.

The current hidden tax increase is Amendment 1, which is on the Nov. 8 ballot. Barring a decision by an Illinois court to remove it from the ballot, Illinoisans will be asked to vote on this so-called “Workers’ Rights Amendment.” It is a vague constitutional change that could bring many unforeseen consequences, but one thing is clear: if it passes, expect more than $2,100 in increased property taxes for the typical Illinois family.

The prior hidden tax hike was just two years ago, when Gov. J.B. Pritzker pushed voters for a marginally more transparent tax increase he called the “Fair Tax.” Illinoisans overwhelmingly sided against instituting the progressive tax amendment that would have made it easier for the state to tax Illinoisans’ retirements.

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