Rep. Yingling makes public plea for restraint
Illinois House Rep. Sam Yingling (D-Grayslake) penned a letter that was published in the Chicago Tribune earlier this week, asking the Illinois House to “take more time to fully deliberate the issues concerning the proposed ‘fair tax.’”
“The current proposals do not adequately address the crushing burden that our property tax system places on homeowners,” Yingling said in a Facebook post on Wednesday. “This may be the only time in a generation to get it right and the members of the House of Representatives must not be rushed. Please share. #fairtax”
The proposed amendment would change the state income tax system from a flat tax to a graduated or progressive income tax. Those in favor argue that the proposal would make the Illinois tax code more fair, provide tax relief throughout the state, accelerate job creation, and boost small businesses. Opponents, however, argue that it would open the door to other tax hikes that may hurt small businesses while driving more job creation to surrounding states.
Yingling, who opposes the proposal, says that, “If we’re going to enact a progressive tax in Illinois, we must deal with the property tax crisis,” as discussed in his open letter.
Facebook commenter Michael Porembski said in response to Yingling’s post, “Kudos to Sam, stay strong and PUSH to fix the spend side of the equation. Not just a freeze, push to fix the underlying issue!”
Another commenter had a different message. “If you want to fix the property tax crisis, you first need to fix the public pension crisis,” said Jim Walsh. “So, if you are already going to ask us to change the IL Constitution to implement a graduated tax, please ask us to change it to allow you to make taking care of our public employees in their old age something that will prevent us from taking care of ourselves in our old age.”
In a separate comment, Porembski added to Walsh’s notion. “No changes to the taxes without tackling the pension crisis. If the constitution can be amended to increase taxes, it can be amended to transition public section employees to 401Ks. Corporate America did this a decade ago (whatever you have, as of a select date, you keep and the pensions are closed, and the next day, they’re all in 401Ks).”
Porembski continued, “Why shouldn’t public employees be subject to the same thing? Fix the spending side of the equation, Sam, the population flight is killing this state and everyone knows why.”
If the proposal is approved by three-fifths of the state legislature, it will then be voted on in a referendum.