Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker
Jackson County Republican Party Chairman Chris Grissom believes Springfield could use a new approach to the tax-and-spend methods favored by the Democratic majority.
“Everything is always about raising taxes and you’re never going to tax your way out of a deficit, at least not without fundamentally crumbling our tax base,” Grissom told the Carbondale Reporter. “You have to remember, Illinois is a big state with a big border and there’s a lot of opportunity to just the cross the border and be in the same area but with far less taxes.”
Grissom fears what could happen to Illinois if Democrats succeed in their push for a progressive income-tax system to replace the state's current flat tax rate. With Gov. J.B. Pritzker trying to sell the policy to voters as a tax on the state’s wealthiest residents, the measure will appear on the ballot in November as an amendment to the state constitution.
Jackson County Republican Party Chairman Chris Grissom
Grissom is among the many critics questioning the validity of the argument in favor of a progressive or graduated tax structure in Illinois.
“With the outmigration we’ve seen and the increase we can expect if this thing goes through, it makes you wonder how this can’t eventually hit more income brackets,” he said. “I know all the projections they have for this thing are pretty rosy, but I’m really hesitant to amend the constitution and change the way we tax. How about changing the way we spend?”
Grissom says the fact that the tax has not lived up to expectations in other states should also give Illinoisans pause. In California, revenues have been barely half of what was promised, and Connecticut has lost more than $10 billion and 360,000 jobs since switching to a progressive income-tax rate.
“Illinois already has reputation as a liberal-minded, high-tax state,” Grissom said. “This will only make us more vulnerable. We just raised taxes and here we are back again looking for more. At some point, it has to stop.”