socastcmsRssStartBy Greg Bishop | Illinois News NetworksocastcmsRssEnd
Taxpayers gathered at the Illinois capitol Wednesday to share concerns about the state’s high taxes.
Connie Cane came to Springfield from Gilberts, Illinois. She said her chief concern is property taxes, and not being able to sell her home if she were to leave the state. She also opposes the idea of a progressive tax.
“I am worried about the types of legislation that could pass and the fact that there are not enough Republicans to say ‘no’, ” Cane said.
The prospect of a voter referendum to change the state constitution’s flat tax to a progressive tax is more certain after last week’s election that solidified Democrat control of not just the state legislature, but also the governor’s mansion. Democrats, including House Speaker Michael Madigan, have given their support to a progressive income tax structure.
Cane said lawmakers aren’t trustworthy enough for more tax dollars because they haven’t enacted certain reforms.
Riverton resident Beverly High is retired. She said one reform lawmakers should pass is a spending cap.
“They should not be allowed to spend more each year than maybe perhaps what the GDP is,” High said.
Several measures that have bipartisan support to put a spending cap in place haven’t advanced.
Kem Wilson said one of her concerns is Madigan’s power Speaker of the House and the chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois.
Wilson, who owns and operates The Look Studio and Day Spa in Jacksonville, said as a small business owner a progressive tax would penalize her the more her business succeeds. She opposes that. She also opposes any idea of a service tax.
“It’s just tax on tax and the problem is it’s never enough,” Wilson said. “It’s just they’ll pass this just like they passed the 32 percent [income tax increase] a year-and-a-half ago, okay, they’ll just pass more.”
Wilson said it’s no wonder people are leaving the state.
High said she doesn’t want to leave her family and start over somewhere else. She said lawmakers have to be responsible with tax dollars.
“They need to balance our budget,” High said. “This is ridiculous. I have to balance my budget. Everybody else has to balance their budget. There’s no reason why our legislators shouldn’t have to balance their budget every year.”
Illinois hasn’t had a truly balanced budget in years. Despite praising the current budget as balanced, it is actually over $1 billion in the red.
Those at the statehouse Wednesday to talk with lawmakers about their concerns were also treated with a bomb threat that evacuated several floors of the building. After an all-clear was given, activity resumed.