Spain mum about Wirepoints calling 'Fair Tax' dishonest
As Illinois Democrats continue to push for the so-called "Fair Tax" that has been called dishonest by state policy journal Wirepoints.com, state Rep. Ryan Spain apparently doesn't want to discuss it.
Spain, a Republican, reportedly opposes the graduated income tax proposed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, at least according to Ballotpedia and BillTrack50. Last year Spain signed on as a co-sponsor of House Resolution 891, with lead sponsor Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills), which opposes amending the state's Constitution to allow a graduated income tax.
However, Spain did not respond to a Peoria Standard request for comment about a Wirepoints article that challenged the honesty of a Pritzker-linked group that said the tax would "fix" the state's fiscal crisis. An online search also turns up little Spain has said recently about the tax.
Spain has represented the House's 73rd District since he was elected in November 2016.
The 73rd District includes all of Marshall and Stark counties and parts of Bureau, Marshall, Peoria, Stark and Woodford counties.
The Illinois General Assembly is expected to take up the graduated income tax proposal when the legislative session resumes April 30.
Pritzker has argued his Fair Tax plan, which was a major part of his 2018 election campaign, would create taxation in Illinois that works for all residents, not just the rich. Although commercials in favor of the graduated tax began running in March, the real push for the Fair Tax was launched earlier this month over the objections of conservatives in the state legislature.
Think Big Illinois says Pritzker's "Fair Tax" plan alleges it can "fix our state's $3.2 billion crisis" but Wirepoints called that claim dishonest and said passage of the Fair Tax would dupe Illinoisans "into throwing more money at a doomed effort."
Think Big Illinois' underestimates just how large the state financial crisis is, said the Wirepoints article, written by the publication's founder Mark Glennon.
"If only the hole indeed were just $3.2 billion," the article said. "Most Illinoisans of any political stripe would probably be happy to pay up and call it a day to fix our fiscal crisis, no matter how the burden was distributed. But it’s preposterous – off by several multiples, depending on exactly what you choose to count."
The annual funding shortfall for only the state’s five pensions comes in at $4.7 billion a year, based on actuarially determined contributions and "on assumptions widely regarded as far too optimistic," the article said.
"But the new tax would raise only $3.4 billion per year [That’s the administration’s claim, though the estimate has been heavily criticized as too optimistic]," the article continued. "In other words, the new tax wouldn’t come close to solving the state’s pension crisis, never mind the hundreds of local pension funds across the state."