Pritzker tax plan will only speed out-migration, Caulkins says
Dan Caulkins fears that Illinois’ dwindling economy and soaring out-migration rate will only worsen if J.D. Pritzker has his way.
“He is a very liberal Democrat running for governor,” Caulkins told the Chambana Sun of Pritzker’s plan calling for the state to at least temporarily increase the flat income tax rate as lawmakers work toward a change in the state constitution that would pave the way for a graduated income tax.
Caulkins, a Decatur Republican, is facing Democrat Jennifer McMillin in the general election for the seat being vacated by Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) in the 101st District.
“(Lawmakers) seem to be intent on running everyone out of Illinois,” Caulkins said. “And this kind of tax will send a lot more people heading for the exits.”
Pritzker, who is set to face off against Gov. Bruce Rauner in November’s general election, said his plan would also boost credits and deductions, though he shied away from detailing what he thinks the final, increased tax rate would look like.
In the Democratic primary, Pritzker bested rivals Chris Kennedy and Daniel Biss. During the campaign, he said his graduated tax idea would make tax rates synonymous with income levels. Ultimately, the issue would be placed on the ballot for voters to consider, with the earliest timetable being in 2020.
“This kind of thing has not worked anywhere,” Caulkins said. “Two years ago when the idea was proposed it was scored as something that would lose jobs and population and not bring about nearly all the money that was projected. It’s destructive and unwise. You can never just tax your way to prosperity.”
Caulkins said coming up with a sensible alternative strikes him as being plain and simple.
“We should be talking about ways to reduce taxes by cutting spending,” he said. “We have to halt all the excessive spending set in motion by the career politicians and Democrats. It just isn’t working. Do you think people are leaving Illinois because it’s so prosperous? They’re going to other places looking for that.”