Senator Barickman’s Senate Week in Review: May 3

Republican senators stood with middle-income families during the week, voting against a $3.4 billion tax increase as Democrats pushed through a graduated income tax proposal with no protections for taxpayers. Proposals also emerged during the week that sponsors claimed would provide property tax relief, and repeal the estate tax, but upon closer examination, these measures were found to be part of a political game to push through a tax hike.

Democrats ram through tax hike without protections for middle class

Illinois Senate Democrats muscled through a series of tax hike bills on party-line votes, endangering economic growth while offering no protections for middle-income families, according to State Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington).

“This graduated tax scheme offers no protections whatsoever for middle-income families, and we’ve already seen the proposed rates changing,” said Barickman. “People are rightly concerned that this plan would likely end up being just the first in a series of tax hikes.”

The graduated tax plan has been a major focus for new Gov. JB Pritzker since he first began campaigning. The plan involves not only a series of rate brackets which charge people higher and higher rates as their income increases, but also requires a change to the Illinois Constitution. Critics have noted that the plan offers no guarantees whatsoever for taxpayers on the rate structure, and that the rates could change again before the system even goes into effect.

Possible protections, including Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 12 which would increase the number of votes required to raise taxes, have so far been completely ignored by sponsors of the graduated tax plan.

“This scheme does not to stop the problem of out-of-control spending but simply takes more money from Illinois families,” said Barickman. “We can’t afford another tax hike that will kill jobs and push families out of Illinois, even more so when the plan will likely lead to even tax more hikes in the future.”

Democrats Play Games with Taxpayers’ Pocketbooks

During the week, Democrat lawmakers also introduced measures that they claimed would provide property tax relief and repeal the estate tax. While their rhetoric would lead constituents to believe these proposals would move the needle on these critical issues, a closer look shows that they are little more than smoke and mirrors – part of a political game to push through a $3.4 billion tax hike.

Republicans argued that if Democrats were serious about repealing the estate tax, they could put their support behind Leader Bill Brady’s Senate Bill 1727, a measure introduced in February that is nearly identical their own proposal – except that it’s not tied to the implementation of a graduated income tax. The estate tax was previously repealed on Jan. 1, 2010, only to be reinstated a year later on Jan. 1, 2011.

Meaningful property tax relief has long been a priority for Senator Barickman. During debate, he noted that the Democrat proposal that emerged this week, which is also tied to the implementation of a graduated income tax, would not actually stop property tax bills from increasing.

Senate Bill 690 would provide for tax relief only if a series of stringent requirements are met – a situation that would be so unlikely to occur that the proposal is not likely to result in any property tax relief. Not only does the bill only apply to school districts, it also does nothing to prevent municipalities and other local entities from raising rates.

As people throughout Illinois get their property tax bills this month and see that this year’s bill is higher than last year’s bill, this legislation would nothing to stop that trend from continuing.

Police Memorial Held in Springfield

The 2019 Illinois Police Officers Memorial Ceremony was held on May 2 in Springfield. This annual ceremony honors the brave men and women who have given their lives in the performance of their duty.

On the west lawn of the Illinois State Capitol stands a monument to these dedicated public servants. Inscribed on the monument are the names of fallen heroes. This year, four current names and two historic names will be added to the monument.

The four current names to be added this year include Commander Paul Bauer, Officer Samuel Jimenez, Officer Conrad Gary and Officer Eduardo Marmolejo, all of the Chicago Police Department. Historic names include Constable Benjamin Martin of the Moqeaqua Police Department, and John Shaw of the Virden Police Department.

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