I wanted to take a moment to quickly address some of the messaging you may have been seeing around the Governor’s proposed changes to the state income tax.
Two television advertisements are now running throughout our district. One tells viewers to call my office and tell me to oppose what they’re calling the “jobs” tax and the other is asking folks to reach out and have me support the “fair” tax. This is separate from the robocalls and direct mail that have been harassing my constituents for over a month. Both sides have an obvious agenda, and it comes through strongly.
However, no one has asked me where I stand. I welcome you to look at the legislation I’ve introduced or signed onto. It will be clear that I am for lowering our tax burden. If someone can present me with a model that helps reduce our taxes, I’m all for it. But, to be perfectly transparent, it must start with our local property taxes. In our communities, the local taxing bodies have the ability to raise our taxes without much input. In other words, the increases we’re seeing in our taxes come more from the local taxing bodies, not from Springfield.
I am a vice-chairman of Counties and Townships Committee working to address our rising cost of living in Illinois. You’ll notice the side that is opposed to the progressive tax doesn’t mention the bipartisan efforts to reduce local government. Why’s that? We must start asking our locally elected officials why they’re opposed to common-sense tax reforms. Why they oppose consolidation that would bring us much-needed tax relief.
In fairness, a huge chunk of our property taxes go to our schools, a little over 70%, in our district. Our biggest challenge with potentially changing the way we tax in Illinois is how it addresses education. The state is discussing picking up a bigger share of the education cost. With that being said, local control is very important to many of my constituents. There’s no easy answer to funding education but I can assure you that as long as I have this job, I demand that our education standards remain high.
As of April 1, 2019, there’s no legislation for me to consider on a progressive tax. We’ve discussed the concept and the Governor’s office released some numbers, but no specific legislation. As soon as we do see it, I’ll be in a better position to make the best choice for our district.
Thank you and please reach out anytime.