Illinois state Rep. Chris Miller (R-Oakland) marvels at the fact that he has yet to meet one Democratic lawmaker in Springfield who is willing to admit that the state has a broken system of taxation.
“It’s sad because the people that get hurt the most are the people that are going to work every day, paying their bills, raising their families and trying to survive,” Miller told the East Central Reporter. “Every time that there’s a problem, the politicians' solution has been not to deal with real problem but to raise taxes and kick the can down the road. All these increases affect the working poor and working middle-class the most because they make life harder for the regular citizen trying to survive and stay in the state that they love.”
A new report from business and economic forecasting publisher Kiplinger's concludes that Illinois is now thought of as the “least tax-friendly” state in the nation, with residents forced to pay much more to the government than those in other states. Meanwhile, Illinois property taxes continue to climb to the point where the state now has the second highest rates in the country.
Illinois state Rep. Chris Miller (R-Oakland)
Kiplinger's based its rankings on the tax burden of a “hypothetical middle-class family” in all 50 states and Washington D.C.
“It’s one of those things that not everybody knows about and that a lot of people weren’t paying attention to, but now things have gotten so abusive people are starting to take notice,” Miller said. “It’s been a problem for 40 years, but now it’s getting so bad that we’re starting to lose population and people are starting to talk about it. It’s like the old story about people finally starting to realize the king has no clothes, but in truth he never really has.”
Gov. J.B. Pritzker is now pushing a progressive tax system that would mean a change to the state’s existing flat 4.95-percent tax rate, and higher rates for those earning upward of $250,000. Adopting the new formula would require a change to the state constitution and the question will be on the ballot for voters in the form of a referendum during the 2020 elections.
Miller said he only sees such a system perpetuating the current problem.
“The government ought to be making life better for the people and instead we’re making it harder for people and businesses,” Miller said. “The whole idea is we’re supposed to like to see people and businesses thrive, but we’ve laid so many burdens on people and businesses it’s really hard for anyone to even survive here in Illinois.”