Idstein likens progressive income tax to a 'wolf in sheep's clothing'
Ken Idstein is convinced no good can come to the state from the advent of a progressive tax system.
“A progressive income tax is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” Idstein told the Lake County Gazette. “While its proponents claim it would merely make the rich pay their fair share, a progressive tax would result in tax hikes on middle-class taxpayers. Given the negative effects of higher taxes and tax progressivity on economic growth and Springfield’s insatiable appetite for spending beyond taxpayers’ means, a progressive income tax is likely to cost the state billions of dollars in lost economic activity and tens of thousands of potential job opportunities.”
A resolution designed and filed by powerful House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) recently sailed through the House of Representatives after an earlier constitutional amendment vote that would have green-lighted a switch from a flat tax system to a progressive one failed to garner enough support.
The Illinois Policy Institute reports House Bill 3522, filed in 2017 by state Rep. Robert Martwick (D-Chicago) and known as the Friendly Act, would have raised taxes on individuals grossing as little as $17,300 a year.
“A progressive tax could also inflict significant damage on Illinois’ fragile economy,” added Idstein, challenging state Rep. Sam Yingling (D-Grayslake) in the 62nd House District. “Economists agree that tax hikes reduce economic activity. Because tax increases have negative impacts on private investment, even a temporary tax increase has a very large and sustained negative effect on the economy. Furthermore, the combination of tax increases and increases in government spending have a negative impact on investment.”
Idstein said lawmakers would be of much greater service to their constituents by looking for ways to rein in spending and erasing the state’s massive debt load.
“Lawmakers should adopt a spending cap that ties state spending growth to growth in Illinois’ economy rather than introducing more uncertainty with a progressive income tax system,” he said. “Illinoisans could then rest assured they’re getting a state government they can afford.”
As it is, IPI reports the average household in all 118 Illinois House districts would experience yet another income tax increase under the guidelines laid out in the Friendly Act, with such tax bills swelling by as much as 22 percent, or $864, in the 18th House District.