Bennett on graduated income tax structure: 'Stop digging,' bring people back to Illinois
House Rep. Thomas Bennett (R-Watseka) said Monday that Illinois has dropped in population because it already has such a high tax burden, and the graduated income tax structure would make that even worse.
"Illinois has forfeited the title of the fifth most-populous state to Pennsylvania," Bennett said. "We’re talking about raising taxes when the states around us are heading in the opposite direction."
Bennett said Illinois needed to stop digging.
"When you are digging a hole, and yes we are, the first thing you do is stop digging, Bennett said. "We received $1.2 billion more than we expected this year. Instead of talking about how to spend this, we need to take a look at how this can be used to pay down our debt."
Bennett said he encouraged the House and the governor's administration to change focus to encourage job growth and encourage businesses to come to Illinois.
"Businesses are watching," Bennett said. "This is not the way to do this. It will stifle growth again. Stop digging."
Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 1 passed the House on Monday with 73 yes votes and 44 no votes. It will now be on the November 2020 ballot for Illinois voters to decide. Every single Republican voted no on the bill.
Many businesses and individuals have spoken out about their disapproval of a graduated income tax structure. Critics of the structure suggest because rates aren't nailed down in the amendment that it will eventually be a tax on the middle class.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has been adamant about his preference for a "fair tax" since running for governor last year.