Dupage Policy Journal

Dupage Policy Journal

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Former Burr Ridge Mayor Straub fears a progressive income tax would move Illinois closer to socialism


By Glenn Minnis | Feb 7, 2020

Burr Ridge Mayor Mickey Straub

Former Burr Ridge Mayor Mickey Straub remains firmly opposed to the progressive income-tax system being proposed by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

“I don’t trust Pritzker to do the right thing and this tax undeniably moves the state closer to being a socialist government,” Straub told the Will County Gazette. “In the end, this is just one more way to attack the rich that will result in everyone being forced to pay more in some way or another.”

Pritzker remains one of the loudest voices in pushing the tax that is being sold as a way to ensure that the rich pay more of their fair share. The measure is now slated to appear on the ballot in November as an amendment that would allow lawmakers to replace the state’s current flat-tax system with the new progressive or graduated rate structure.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker

Critics argue that Pritzker’s logic flies in the face of reason, particularly when it could send thousands of the state’s most wealthy residents out of Illinois as it has done in other states that have enacted progressive income-tax rates.  

“When I was still a candidate in the 82nd House District, I talked about how Illinois has become an evacuation state and this tax only adds fuel to the fire,” Straub said. “Back then, we were already losing one person every eight minutes and now it’s down to every six minutes. With all the taxing and fees, we’re chasing away our highest income earners and that’s doing nothing but hurting the state even more.”

Straub is not surprised that similar taxes have been unsuccessful in other parts of the U.S. In California, expected revenues were nearly cut in half after wealthy residents bolted en masse, while Connecticut has lost more than $10 billion and 360,000 jobs since making the switch.

“Taxes, especially more of them, only result in a higher cost of living and make it harder for blue-collar workers to survive,” Straub said. “This tax in particular does nothing but seek to punish successful people. It’s counter-intuitive in that it sends the message if you’re successful, you will be punished by your state government.”




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