Rep. Durkin claims no fiscal need for tax hikes
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Burr Ridge) said at a press conference last Wednesday that there was no reason with regard to balancing the Fiscal Year 2020 budget to raise any taxes in Illinois, citing a cache of funds in the amount of $1.5 billion that had not been figured into previous estimates.
"Taxpayers can now be reassured that Gov. Pritzker and his Democrats’ repeated call for more and more of their hard-earned money to balance the budget is unnecessary," Durkin said. "The numbers are clear. We now have the money to balance the budget with no new taxes and no tax increases.
"There is no reason to consider a graduated income tax now," Durkin continued, referring to Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker's long-running tax hike proposal. "We have the money to balance the budget without new taxes. With only 18 days left, we must work to balance the budget to bring the state toward fiscal responsibility."
Durkin said that when Democrats invite Republicans to the table they will work in good faith to help the state move forward.
Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) said that Republicans believe working in a bipartisan way will free up money for Fiscal Year 2020.
"We will help funnel desperately needed money toward what is most needed," Demmer said. "We will ensure next year's budget is reasonable and sustainable — balanced without additional tax increases."
Demmer said that Republicans are willing to put votes toward proposals that will bring more money into the budget, but they are opposed to any additional tax hikes.
"We're behind the expansion of sports gaming," Demmer said, citing one example.