IFB Action Request: Call senators to oppose progressive tax

State Senate to vote on measure after holiday break.

State Senators are set to vote on the creation of a progressive income tax, a major tenet of Gov. J.B. Pritzker's long-term plan to balance the state budget, when they return from the holiday break. (Illinois Farm Bureau file photo)

By Kay Shipman

When the General Assembly returns in one week, state senators’ largest decision will be whether to put in place the ability to create a state progressive income tax.

The progressive income tax comprises a major cornerstone in Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s long-term plan to balance the state budget. Illinois Farm Bureau continues to oppose the creation of a progressive income tax. 

“With the expectation of our state senators taking the first step to put a proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution to allow a progressive income tax on the ballot, we are calling on farmers across the state to call their state senators and let them know we oppose this,” said IFB President Richard Guebert Jr. “We need our voices heard loud and clear that a progressive income tax is not the best way to tax hardworking Illinoisans. 

“IFB has had a long-held position that a flat rate income tax is the preferred method in Illinois,” Guebert said. “Our members feel that taxpayers who have higher incomes already pay more based on the income they make.”  

The president continued, “I am asking everyone to please call their state senators by dialing 888-200-3794 and entering in their zip codes. Each caller will be forwarded to his or her state senator’s district office. We are simply asking you to encourage your state senator to vote, ‘No,’ on SJRCA 1(Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment).” 

“SJRCA 1 will need 36 affirmative votes of the 59 senators to be approved by the state Senate,” explained Kevin Semlow, IFB director of state legislation.

“Remember, this is the first step in the process of making a change to the Illinois State Constitution,” Semlow advised. “The Senate and House of Representatives must both approve the measure by supermajority votes to place the proposal on the November 2020 ballot. It is up to the voters of Illinois to accept or decline the measure.”

Guebert summarized: “Our state government is still faced with serious financial challenges. Unfortunately, there is no effort to cut expenses and control new program spending. Moving to a progressive income tax will make it easier for our lawmakers to target key economic sectors in the future to raise taxes.

“We must stand together and call our state senators.  I encourage you to tell your friends and family to call, too. Simply dial 888-200-3794 and ask your state senator to vote, ‘NO!’,” Guebert concluded. 

Content for this story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.