Democrats' lack of specifics about tax plan suggests to Rep. Miller a potential repeat of 2017
Illinois State Rep. Chris Miller (R-Oakland) thinks there’s a good reason why Democrats are unwilling to go on record with the most important details about Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s graduated income tax proposal.
“One thing that hits me is that from my understanding they aren’t willing to moralize any numbers with the plan they’re proposing,” Miller, elected last November to represent the 110th District, told the East Central Reporter. “That makes me think that’s because they want to be able to have a blank check to extract all the money they want from taxpayers over time.”
Indeed, government watchdog website Wirepoints recently dismissed the tax plan as just another money grab aimed at fleecing already cash-strapped taxpayers out of more of their hard-fought earnings. While supporters have promoted the plan as the solution to Illinois' financial crisis by reducing property taxes, addressing pension debt and generating additional funding for other programs, Wirepoints sees things differently.
As part of its analysis, the website pegs the state’s “true hole” as high as $19 billion, or more than six times higher than the $3.2-billion debt estimate offered by Pritzker and his supporters.
“I don’t know why any sensible taxpayer would be willing to give one more dime to Springfield,” Miller said. “They raised taxes in 2011 and 2017, saying it would fix everything, and just ended up spending more money. I’ve been in Springfield nearly 90 days and there have been no talks about reforms, just how we can generate more tax revenues.”
Miller said he’s convinced that Republicans are united enough to prevent a repeat of 2017, when more than a few members crossed the aisle to cast votes in favor of a record-setting, 32-percent income tax hike.
“I think one of reasons the caucus will hold together is if you look at several of those who voted in favor of the tax increase, they are no longer here,” he said. “The whole attitude has changed based on the fact we have more history to base our decisions on. Look at what’s happened; you can’t help but think you’ve been lied to again.”