By Kristina Rasmussen -
Illinois’ 2011 state income tax hike is temporary – and rates are scheduled to roll back starting in 2015.
But there’s talk of a “gradual reduction” of the 2011 state income tax increases.
We’ve heard it from both the Civic Federation and, most recently, from state Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora. Here’s the Naperville Sun’s coverage of her views that she expressed at a recent Chamber lunch:
Holmes made clear that, while she might support a gradual reduction of the 2011 increases, she was categorically opposed to an extension of the increases in perpetuity.
I find this position odd, considering that the law already calls for a gradual reduction of the 2011 tax hike.
Specifically, starting in 2015 the income tax rate would drop to 3.75 percent from 5 percent. It would go down another notch in 2025, but it never completely disappears.
So if the temporary tax hike is already slated to gradually disappear, what is Holmes talking about?
Calling for an additional delay of the scheduled tax relief is another tax hike, plain and simple.
Forcing people to pay higher taxes for longer than what the law requires is a tax hike. It’s like asking homeowners to continue making their mortgage payments for 35 years instead of 30 years.
So, to interpret the language of the political establishment for those not established in Springfield-speak:
“Gradual reduction of the 2011 increases” = tax hike
“Gradually rolling back tax rates” = tax hike
Taxpayers have sacrificed for four years so that government could get its act together.
Each year, the income tax hike has been taking away an extra week’s pay from Illinois families. Adding up the extra taxes paid in 2011, 2012, 2013 and now 2014, it’s like giving an extra month of your labor to state government.
We’ve paid our fair share. Now the politicians need to live up to their end of the bargain. They don’t deserve to be bailed out again with yet another tax hike.
Kristina Rasmussen is Executive Vice President of the Illinois Policy Institute