Former Illinois state Rep. Dwight Kay (R-Edwardsville)
Former Illinois state Rep. Dwight Kay (R-Edwardsville) understands why voters may still be confused about the progressive income tax system Gov. J.B. Pritzker has been pushing since he was a candidate.
“The progressive tax is probably the most misrepresented set of facts about any legislation I’ve seen in many years,” Kay, who served six years in the 112th District, told the Metro East Sun. “I can tell you this tax doesn’t just tax the rich and give money to the poor. It’s a way to tax everyone more and give more money to Illinois’ mismanaged government.”
That’s a far cry from the system Pritzker has been promoting and asking voters to sign off on in November when it will appear on the ballot as a constitutional amendment to replace the state’s current flat-tax system. Kay is warning voters not to be swayed by Pritzker’s words when his actions are in conflict with the public message.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker
“The telling sign here is that no one in favor of this thing ever talks about what the tax rates for it will be,” Kay said. “All they’ll say is that the rich will pay more and everyone else less. No one knows what the numbers will be, and the governor won’t talk about them. When people say it’s only going to be the rich impacted here, that’s totally false.”
Kay is not surprised that similar tax systems in California and Connecticut have not panned out as planned. In California, expected revenues were nearly cut in half after wealthy residents bolted en masse, while Connecticut residents have suffered through a steady stream of rising income- and property-tax rates that have cost the state more than $10 billion and 360,000 jobs.
“By not talking about the specifics, lawmakers here in Illinois think they can sell this fallacy to the people,” Kay said. “It’s all part of the smoke and mirrors. In the end, I’ll bet you that more income from this thing will be generated off the backs of the middle-class than anyone else, and they know it. I predict that a lot more people will gone from Illinois. We’re already inundated with taxes and they’re only increasing. People have had it and I think this would be the final nail in the coffin.”