SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Cherry Valley) says Senate Republicans are working to block Democrat-led efforts to fundamentally change the state’s income tax structure – a Constitutional issue resoundingly rejected by Illinois voters in the November 2020 general election.
Syverson attended a Jan. 25 Capitol press conference during which Senate Republicans disavowed attempts by Senate Democrat legislative leaders to once again push a controversial proposal to shift Illinois from a flat income tax to a graduated income tax. Approximately 55 percent of voters participating in the Nov. 3, 2020, general election rejected a Constitutional Amendment to allow a graduated income tax.
“Illinois had a record amount of tax revenue for 2022, so for Democrat legislative leaders to start this year with talk of even more taxes shows how out of touch they are. Government doesn’t have a revenue problem, they have a spending problem,” said Syverson. “It is hard to fathom that Democrat legislative leaders are once again focusing on changing Illinois income tax structure, just a little more than two years after Illinois voters said ‘NO’ to the idea. What is the point of asking voters for their input, if you are going to ignore their answers?”
Syverson also noted Democrat leaders’ unwillingness in 2019 to include additional taxpayer safeguards, especially when considering future tax increases under a graduated income tax system.
“Since the inception of this proposal, no consideration has been given to long-term protections for our middle-class taxpayers,” said Syverson. “The Democrat-majority promises short-term relief, but steadfastly refuses to put in place the Constitutional protections needed to ensure our middle class won’t suffer down the road. If they really want to protect our taxpayers, they should support the Constitutional safeguards needed to guarantee the middle class won’t be left to foot the bill.”
In May 2019, Democrat lawmakers adopted a resolution putting the question of changing the income tax structure in Illinois to the voters in the 2020 general election. Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment (SJRCA) 1 placed a referendum on the 2020 general election ballot asking voters if they support moving Illinois from a flat tax to a graduated tax structure.
Also in 2019, in hopes of providing some protections for Illinois families, Senate Republican lawmakers offered SJRCA 12 to require a two-thirds super-majority vote in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly to increase any tax or fee. Currently, legislators only need a simple majority to pass a tax increase or to implement a new tax. SJRCA 12 was never allowed a vote in the Senate.