Reick rails against progressive tax on House floor
Rep. Steven Reick (R-Woodstock) didn’t need to call an impromptu press conference to share his feelings on progressive income tax, instead using his point of personal privilege on the House floor Wednesday.
“I am from Woodstock where the movie was filmed, and I am here to say again it is Groundhog Day,” Reick said.
And not because it is in February, said the state representative, who represents the 63rd House District.
“We are done with that,” Reick said.
"I am talking about what we are seeing again with those folks who would want to drive business out of Illinois by the establishment of a progressive income tax," he added.
“We had hearings last week, and we were told Illinois has the highest effective state and local tax rate in the nation, and that is true when you count all property taxes, sales taxes, personal property replacement taxes, excise taxes and the like,” Reick, a longtime tax attorney, said.
Illinois flat income tax does not contribute to regressivity because it is a flat rate, and flat rate by definition cannot do so, he noted.
“We were told Indiana is doing so much better than we are, but Indiana has a flat tax rate as well,” Reick said.
Illinois ranks 10th in state and local per-capita taxes in U.S. and fourth in the country for the highest business levies, he said, adding if that is not enough, those proposing a progressive tax want more.
“They want us to be higher on the list of personal income taxes,” Reick said.
HB3522, sponsored by Rep. Robert Martwick (D-Chicago), puts the progressive tax into perspective, with the bill synopsis.
If passed, the legislation would implement “4% of the portion of the taxpayer's net income from $0 to $7,500; 5.84% of the portion of the taxpayer's net income exceeding $7,500 but not exceeding $15,000; 6.27% of the portion of the taxpayer's net income exceeding $15,000 but not exceeding $225,000; and 7.65% of the portion of the taxpayer's net income exceeding $225,000,” according to the bill synopsis.
“Cogfa (Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability) said we would end up with a $5.2 billion increase to Illinois taxpayers through that income tax, and it would be attributed to 77 percent of all taxpayers,” Reick said.
Reick asked what if hedge fund manager Ken Griffin were to move out of Illinois after noting the state’s out-migration numbers are irrefutable.
“How much of an impact would that have on our budget?” Reick asked, noting a recent New Jersey resident who relocated to Florida took $140 million with him.
“We have the ability to fix our tax problem in this state, but a progressive income tax, without the substantive and structural reforms that go along with it like workers comp and prevailing wage, will do nothing but drive out good money," Reick said.
With the full attention of the House floor, he concluded his mini press conference reminding his peers that progressive tax can only mean one thing — trouble.
“We will blow holes in a budget that this state has never seen,” Reick said.