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Illinoisans still on the hook for higher taxes even after proposed tax breaks


The average Illinois household will continue paying significantly more each year in higher state and local taxes implemented after Gov. J.B. Pritzker took office, even with proposed tax cuts from Democrats at the statehouse, an analysis finds.

The report from the Illinois Policy Institute examines the state’s budget approved Saturday, which includes temporary tax savings amounting to about $556 per family, on average.

The tax breaks would come from a property tax rebate of up to $300, a one-year suspension of the state’s grocery tax coming out to an average of about $56, and a $200 low-income family tax credit. Pritzker also plans to suspend the state’s gas tax increase tied to inflation, though IPI says that provides no tax relief. The gas tax provision only delays for six months a scheduled 2.2 cents a gallon gas tax increase that hasn’t kicked in yet.

The report shows that Illinois families have paid a total of $2,721 in higher taxes since Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s 24 tax-and-fee hikes were implemented in 2019.

That breaks down to the average Illinois household paying roughly $680 more each year from 2019 to 2022 towards higher state and local gas taxes, vehicle registration fees, parking garage taxes, and online sales tax, the report shows.

Adam Schuster, vice president of policy for Illinois Policy, called the proposed tax cuts Democrats approved and Pritzker supports a political move done during an election season.

“Illinois has seen high taxes the past three years, and now this year he is proposing temporary tax changes,” Schuster said. “He is promoting this as tax relief but amounts to a little more than an election-year gimmick.”

Democratic lawmakers have been in favor of the proposed tax cuts. Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, said this is what Illinois families need.

“This is a fiscally and socially responsible budget that responds to the diverse needs of families across Illinois,” Welch said. “This budget delivers $1.8 billion in much-needed tax relief, it pays all of our bills and makes significant investments in public safety.”

Schuster disagreed with Welch.

“I think this is not a fiscally responsible budget,” Schuster said. “I do not believe it is a truly balanced budget either. We will still end the year with a deficit.”

Schuster said that if not for the upcoming November election, when Pritzker and all state House and Senate seats will be on the ballot, Illinoisans might not have seen any tax breaks.

“Illinoisans deserve tax relief especially given how many families are still struggling under the economic impacts of the pandemic,” he said. “The temporary stimulus lawmakers and the governor are touting is just an election-year gimmick, designed to make residents forget about the significant hikes in taxation that have occurred since Pritzker took office.”

Republicans at the statehouse criticized the Democrats’ $1.8 tax cut proposal as being mostly temporary and pushed for a package of permanent tax cuts totaling $2.2 billion. Those efforts were not approved.

This article was originally posted on Illinoisans still on the hook for higher taxes even after proposed tax breaks

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