2017 brings a slew of new sales tax hikes for 20 municipalities in Illinois.
Effective Jan. 1, 20 Illinois cities and local governments increased local sales taxes, according to the Illinois Department of Revenue.
The majority of the sales tax hikes were enacted in the various municipalities’ business districts. However, the city of Danville, located in Vermillion County, is raising taxes for the entire city. Listed as a “home-rule” sales tax increase, the new tax hike will go into effect on nearly every purchase made in Danville. This increase brings the combined sales tax rate to 9.25 percent up from 8.75 percent.
Local governments’ New Year’s cash grab is just the latest in a series of tax hikes that have left many Illinois residents feeling as though their pockets have been picked. Like property taxes, sales taxes are regressive and hit middle-and working-class families the hardest. Illinois has the highest property taxes in the nation and the highest sales tax in the Midwest. Chicago has the highest sales tax of any city in the country. When income, sales, property and other taxes are accounted for, Illinois’ combined tax burden puts the Prairie State at the fifth highest in the nation.
However, it never seems to be enough. Illinoisans are forced to continue paying more in local taxes to prop up Illinois’ 7,000 units of local government – the most in the nation – and the bureaucracies that run them.
And taxes at the local level aren’t the only government cost burdening Illinoisans. The state continues to spend more and more each year.
Despite the fact the state is expecting to take in more than $33 billion in 2017, Illinois is on course to spend $5 billion more than it will take in. From 2003 to 2016, Illinois taxpayers shelled out $70 billion more than if revenues had simply grown with inflation and population trends.
Middle-and working-class Illinoisans should not be forced to pay for the financial bungling of local and state government. Rather than raise taxes that will hurt already cash-strapped residents, these 20 municipalities should look for ways to fix their budgetary issues without going back to taxpayers.