Tax hikes not needed to balance budget, GOP says
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Burr Ridge) says that tax increases are not necessary to achieve a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2020.
At a press conference on Thursday, Durkin said this year's tax receipts will be the highest they've ever been. House Republicans released a one-page document that detailed there was $2.6 billion more in revenue than previously planned for, news that Durkin was pleased to deliver.
"We have the money to balance the budget without new tax increases," he said. "These have been verified by government agencies. These are not from a Republican think tank."
Durkin said for the first time in recent history, Illinois should be discussing a surplus in the budget.
"Does anyone even remember the last time we used that word? Yet, it continues to fall on deaf ears on the other side of the aisle," he said. "Certainly [a balanced budget is attainable] without the graduated income tax [Gov. J.B.] Pritzker is so determined to make a reality. We don’t need it."
Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) echoed the minority leader's sentiments.
"The reality presented today shows an increase is not necessary," Demmer said. "The message is clear . . . there are options other than tax increases."
Demmer said the increased estimates include $845 million for Fiscal Year 2020 in added income tax and sales tax revenue without any increased taxes.
Rep. Dan Brady (R-Normal) said Illinois can pay for its pensions in full in FY 2020 without raising any taxes.
"We have to get serious about fixing our state’s problems, but that doesn’t mean raising taxes, it means being responsible with the money taxpayers already have given us," he said.