Springfield….State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) took to the floor of the Illinois House on Monday to oppose Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 1, which allows for a referendum question on the 2020 Illinois ballot on whether to change the Constitution to replace the current flat tax with a graduated tax system. The graduated tax plan has been a major priority for Governor JB Pritzker.
During debate, Rep. Bryant highlighted the fact that she stated her public opposition to this legislation started back in January when she joined Illinois House Republicans in sponsoring a House Resolution that stated 100% opposition to the implementation of graduated tax system.
“I, like my colleagues, believe that the real reason behind the push for this legislation is a desire for unending government expansion at the expense of middle class and high earning small businesses and individual taxpayers,” Bryant said. “As offensive as the proposed rate increases are to farmers and small businesses, the increase to individuals is just as punitive.
Bryant says Democrats statewide have been selling the plan as a tax cut for 97% of people and the only fiscally responsible path forward for the State. Bryant says the problem is not a lack of revenue, but a lack of fiscal discipline by majority Democrats that continue to push for government expansion.
“We’re being told this is a financially responsible plan? This is coming from the same majority party that introduced $12 billion in new spending in just this Session,” Bryant said. “To me, those actions and this attempt to change the Constitution from a system where everyone pays the same to one that punishes success represents an insatiable appetite to grow the size, scope, and cost of government.”
Bryant also noted recent positive financial news for the State of Illinois, and took issue with the necessity of raising new revenues through a graduated tax system.
“What exactly will this $3.3 billion tax hike on the people of Illinois pay for?” Bryant asked. “Taxpayer funded, elective abortions for any reason and any time in pregnancy, and a massive new bureaucracy that targets law abiding gun owners. In other words, a huge expansion of government, because according to the Chicago Democrats that control every lever of power in Illinois, government knows best.”
Bryant went on to argue that a progressive tax hike would put Illinois at a regional economic disadvantage.
“Our state is already losing businesses to neighboring states that border my district,” Bryant said. Indiana, Missouri and Kentucky all want job creators and ambitious people to come to their state and provide good paying jobs for their citizens. In Illinois, what we’re saying with this Constitutional Amendment and the accompanying bill that sets the rates is this: The higher you climb, the more successful you are, the more jobs you create, the more the State of Illinois is going to tax you, regulate you, and increase fees on you. There is another way, folks.”
SJRCA 1 cleared the Illinois House by the slimmest allowable margin and now heads to Governor Pritzker.