Peoria conservative Gary McCullough argues that Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s progressive income tax proposal comes off more as a sales pitch than a long-term solution to the state's fiscal crisis.
“It’s just something for his base, something to make it look like he’s taxing the rich that need to be taxed,” McCullough told the Peoria Standard. “The amount of revenue generated from this tax is nearly negligible. It’s all just to attract more votes.”
With Pritzker’s Office of Management and Budget recently releasing projections warning that the state’s unpaid debt load could top $19 billion by 2024 without finding a way to generate significant revenue, the governor has been heavily promoting his progressive tax plan as the answer. McCullough remains among the many who are simply not sold on the idea.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker
“If you’re going to keep talking about taxes being the way forward from all this debt, the only way to generate that kind of revenue is to tax everyone,” he said. “When it comes to millionaires, there aren’t that many of them.”
In McCullough’s mind, it is well past time that lawmakers begin reining in the state's excessive spending to help stop the bleeding.
“It goes back to how much we spend,” McCullough said. “To me, trimming the spending is the only way to keep property taxes from rising even more. [Democrats] refuse to do that. It’s like they must have spending. It generates votes for them and is just another argument for term limits.”
Pritzker’s progressive income tax proposal is set to appear on the 2020 ballot in the form of a referendum question. Between now and then, McCullough says he’s hoping as many taxpayers as possible will come to realize what they’re really being asked to do.
“It’s just a way to charge more people more taxes,” he said. “At some point, if you make the tax permanent, sooner or later more people are going to attain the threshold that’s set.”