Illinois state Rep. Chris Miller (R-Oakland)
Illinois state Rep. Chris Miller (R-Oakland) concedes that things in Springfield are rarely what they seem.
“A lot of people like to pretend to the voters they care about truth and integrity, but really they just want the status quo so they can continue to game the system the way they’ve set it up for themselves,” Miller told the East Central Reporter. “You learn fast down here in Springfield that’s just the way it is.”
Miller views the ongoing push led by Gov. J.B. Pritzker for a progressive or graduated income-tax system as a prime example. While the governor maintains that the system he is looking to replace the state's longtime flat income tax with will only mean higher tax rates for the state’s wealthiest residents, Miller doubts that is even possible.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker
“What’s the definition for 'rich' that they’re using?” he challenged. “Whatever it is, it’ll only be a matter time before this tax is slapped on the backs of the middle class.”
Voters will have their say in November when the question of a constitutional amendment to change the system appears on the ballot. Between now and then, Miller wants to educate voters about the history of progressive tax structures.
Specifically, that they have not worked the way they were supposed to in states like California and Connecticut. Revenues in California have been barely half of what was promised, and Connecticut has lost more than $10 billion and 360,000 jobs since switching to a progressive income-tax rate.
“Things won’t be any different here in Illinois," Miller said. “Anybody promising you anything different from that is just making empty promises to get what they want.”