|Illinois House of Representatives Speaker Mike Madigan has spent the last year selling Illinoisans on a tax-hike Band-Aid for a gaping financial wound.
It’s the same failed approach former Gov. Pat Quinn took – evidently, Democratic leaders have failed to learn from the state’s past mistakes. Madigan has focused on an additional tax hike even though a recent study from the Tax Foundation shows that Illinois’ 2011 income-tax hike saddled Illinoisans with the fifth-highest tax burden among the 50 states, and the second-highest tax burden in the Midwest. Even worse, Madigan’s idea of restoring the 2011 income-tax rates would likely impose on Illinoisans the highest tax burden in the Midwest and fourth-highest in the country.
The major drivers of Illinois’ budget problems are an underperforming economy, massive taxpayer out-migration, and unaffordable spending promises. But to hear Madigan talk about it, Illinois has gone without a state budget for seven months because Illinoisans don’t pay enough taxes. And the speaker’s fix is all too familiar in Illinois: another big tax hike without any economic or spending reforms.
According to Madigan, the conversation about Illinois’ income tax should begin at the 5% rate that Illinoisans paid from 2011 through 2014. Madigan’s budget necessitates that the average Illinois household pay an additional $800 per year in income taxes.