The key to government attracting businesses to Illinois is a balancing act. The State must levy just enough taxes, as well as provide just enough restrictions and regulatory oversight to protect the interests of the people – and then leave businesses alone. In a free market, risk takers should sink or swim on their own. If you ask any business owner whether he/she would rather have the government help them or be left alone, the answer is invariably “just leave me alone.” If we want new businesses to locate in Illinois and provide our youth with opportunity and a bright future, Illinois taxes, laws and regulations must be changed to be more business friendly.
As I have demonstrated through the bills I filed, we need to lower taxes in this State, starting with creating a more efficient government.
I oppose a graduated income tax system. It is just another tax hike in disguise. The reasons are many, but the main ones are as follows.
First, the people of Illinois are already some of highest taxed in the nation and we are losing population. Adding another tax will not reverse these problems but add to them.
Second, the legislature over the last 50 years, and especially in the last 10, has not proven itself trustworthy when it comes to dealing with the issue of taxes and how the money will be spent. Twice in the last ten years income taxes have been raised on all the citizens of Illinois and the people were told the new money would be used to pay the backlog of bills the State had and lower the pension debt; the money collected did not go towards either of these.
Finally, the flat tax is the last real protection the citizens have from legislators constantly increasing income taxes. Under the current system in our Constitution, if a legislator votes to increase income taxes she/he does it on every person in their district and therefore, will need a very good explanation for taking this vote if he/she wants to be reelected. Under the system that would go into effect should the amendment pass, a legislator would be able to increase income taxes at various levels of income during different years, eventually/potentially - raising taxes on everyone, without ever upsetting enough voters in any year to concern themselves with whether she/he will be reelected.
The ever-increasing tax and fee burden on Illinois residents and businesses is driving them out of Illinois. The total tax burden (income tax, sales tax, excise tax, property tax, estate tax, …) in Illinois is one of the highest in the nation. The taxes and fees in Illinois have been increasing while incomes in Illinois remain fairly flat, or, are declining. This is creating enormous hardship for businesses and individuals. Every business that closes or leaves not only causes immediate job losses, but it creates a ripple effect when the revenue that had been collected by state now has to be collected from whatever businesses and individuals that remain.
Ultimately, I want to repeal the 32% Democratic income tax rate increase.
Property Tax Relief
I was named to the Illinois Property Tax Reform Task Force to identify ways to provide relief to homeowners. Unfortunately, the Democrats were not serious about working with us to bring about this reform. Therefore, I like a number of other Republicans, filed a number of bills to help lower property taxes.
In terms of specific property tax reforms, I submitted several bills which curb excessive government spending and taxation but Speaker Madigan never allowed this legislation to be heard in committee. House Bill 4472 prohibits the stockpiling of taxpayer dollars in cash reserve funds for any amount more than 150% of the annual tax levy for any local government. House Bill 4493 would have mandated elementary and high school district consolidation to improve economies of scale and instructional integration from K-12. House Bill 4493 prohibited government from tax collection on bond issues that have already been paid off. House Bill 4496 allowed for voters to determine if abolishing township government and having local government units take on their responsibilities would save them money.
Literally every month in 2020 has seen another an announcement by the U.S. Attorney that another Illinois elected official has been indicted, charged or implicated in a major public corruption scheme. In a new record for Illinois, almost a dozen Senators, State Representatives, Chicago Aldermen, suburban Mayors, County Board members, Township Supervisors, and various government employees have resigned their offices in disgrace. The 2020 list of shame is entirely made up of Democrats — almost exclusively from Cook County.
The systemic corruption that has plagued Illinois for 50 years shows no sign of abating, yet the most powerful Democrat in the state at the center and fringes of many of these scandals refuses to resign. After 50 years in office and under the microscope of Federal prosecutors and a new investigative Committee of the Illinois House of Representatives, Mike Madigan refuses to budge.