House GOP Lawmakers Urge Colleagues: ‘Stop Ignoring Tax Realities’

State Representatives Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) and Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) spoke at a Capitol press conference on Wednesday to call for an end to the barrage of tax increases that earned Illinois the new title of “highest tax burden state in the nation.”

“As legislators, it is our duty and obligation to inject some realism into the debates that happen here,” Demmer said. “We can’t simply ignore that we have the highest taxpayer burden in the nation, and we can’t ignore the fact that people are leaving Illinois in record numbers. We can’t ignore that better opportunities and economic growth is occurring in states all around us. We need to get serious about making some changes to how Illinois does business, and provide meaningful tax relief to individuals. We need to provide better opportunities for families and make Illinois a place where jobs and investments grow.”

“One of the reasons I ran for office is because I’ve seen my friends, family members, neighbors, local businesses and my constituents leave Illinois for cheaper living and less regulations,” Windhorst added. “The reason people are leaving is because it is too expensive to live here and do business here. When it comes to state and local taxes, our citizens are maxed out.”

The statements from the Deputy Republican Leader from northwestern Illinois and the freshman member from southern Illinois came in reaction to a WalletHub study which found Illinois has the highest overall tax burden in the nation. Illinois’ median tax rate is 14.9%, while the national average is 10.76%. Illinois’ overall ranking in taxpayer friendliness is #49 in the nation when the cost of living adjustment is taken into consideration.

The governor’s proposed graduated income tax would only make matters worse, Demmer said. “What that does is open up the tax rates to continued interference by lawmakers. If approved, forever more, the General Assembly will no longer be bound by a flat tax mandate in the Constitution. The question isn’t ‘what is the initial rate schedule?’ The question is, ‘can Illinoisans count on politicians in Springfield to do the right thing and not overtax?’ The answer, without a doubt, is ‘no.’ With a graduated income tax, it will be too easy for lawmakers to come back year after year and take a little bit more from taxpayers until we end up with a significantly increased burden on average families.”

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