By John Dempsey, WLS-AM 890 News
(SPRINGFIELD) There is a plan percolating in Springfield to raise Illinois income taxes, as a way to end the Illinois budget standoff that has been going on for over two years. Politico’s Natasha Korecki broke the story that Bloomington Republican State Senator and former Gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady, is proposing a five year temporary income tax freeze, as long as it is coupled with a five year local property tax freeze.
Brady talked about the plan this morning on “The Big John and Ray Show” on WLS.
“This, unlike under Governor Quinn, has a spending cap and job creation,” said Brady, “So with the business reforms, the business buy-in, the job creation, revenues would naturally grow. Expenditures would be capped at today’s level for five years which means as revenues rose they would exceed current levels and be in a position we project where in five years, revenues at the old tax rate would be sufficient to meet the current level of spending and we’d have a balanced budget and have saved people property tax costs over that period of time reining in local government spending.”
During the administration of Governor Pat Quinn, the state income tax was temporarily raised from %3.75 to %5. The rate went back down to %5 in 2015. Brady says he is discussing the plan with his fellow Senators of both parties as a way to end the budget standoff. He tells WLS it is easier to justify higher income taxes that it is to justify higher property taxes.
“Income taxes are arguably based on ability to pay, and corporations have the same mentality that if we make money we’re willing to pay our fair share. Help us be competitive so we make money and can pay our fair share but help freeze our property taxes as well.”
John Patterson, a spokesman for State Senate President John Cullerton, tells POLITICO “When Sen. Brady filed his proposals, we welcomed him to the discussions. The idea here is if people have ideas, let’s see if the numbers add up and if we can make them work,” Patterson said Sunday. “This isn’t a Democratic issue or a Republican issue, we’re all trying to work together to find a solution. The original (grand bargain) bills that were filed had Republican bills that were in there.”
Any proposal that emerges from the Senate must be approved by the House, whose leader, Speaker Michael Madigan has been embroiled in a bitter budget feud with Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.
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