Breen calls tax hike part of a blackmail budget
A $5.4 billion tax hike bill is a “blackmail budget” that offers no reforms to get Illinois out of its deep troubles, Rep. Peter Breen (R-Lombard) told the House on Sunday before the chamber passed Senate Bill 9, which would increase state tax rates by 33 percent.
“We are here today because reform negotiations, which we were continuing in good faith, are now being cut off,” Breen said.
SB9 is a revenue bill that would raise income tax rates to 4.95 percent from 3.75 percent and corporate tax rates to 7 percent from 5.25 percent.
Reps. Deborah Conroy (D-Villa Park), Kathleen Willis (D-Addison), Stephanie Kifowit (D-Oswego) and Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago) cast votes in favor of the measure.
“Today, middle-income taxpayers pay the highest combined income sale and property taxes in the county,” he said. “Today, we are 50th worst in property taxes, 27th worst in sales taxes and 30th worst in income taxes. Today, when you include all 50 states and the District of Columbia, we are the absolute worst for tax burden on middle-income families. When this chamber sends the bill out, if it does go into law, our income tax rating would go from 30th worst in the country down to somewhere between 46th to 48th worst in the country.”
The bill will do little to provide true reform to Illinois or help its working class, Breen said.
“For working folks, there is no relief here,” Breen said. “There is reform here for our bloated state government. There is no cleaning up our corrupt politics. There is no sign that anything is going to change in Springfield. Who in their right mind is going to agree to send more money to the state government.”
Gov. Bruce Rauner declared SB9 a repeat of the “failed policies” that created Illinois' financial mess.
“I will veto [House Speaker] Mike Madigan’s permanent 33 percent tax hike,” Rauner said in a press release. “Illinois families don’t deserve to have more of the hard-earned money taken from them when the legislature has done little to restore confidence in government or grow jobs. Illinois families deserve more jobs, property tax relief and term limits. But tonight they got more of the same.”
Illinois Republican Chairman Tim Schneider said lawmakers who sided with Madigan will be held accountable for their decision in the next elections.
In all, 15 House Republicans, including Fortner, defied Durkin and Rauner and voted for the increase: Steve Andersson (R-Geneva), Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro), John Cavaletto (R-Salem), C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville), Norine Hammond (R-Macomb), David Harris (R-Arlington Heights), Chad Hays (R-Catlin), Charlie Meier (R-Highland), Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) , Reggie Phillips (R-Charleston),Robert Pritchard ( R-Hinckley), Mike Unes (R- East Peoria), Sara Wojcicki Jimenez (R-Leland Grove), and David Reis (R-Ste. Marie).
SB9 passed 72-45 and is now in the Senate.