Mike Babcock (R-Bethalto), former candidate for state representative in the 111th District
Former candidate for state representative in the 111th District Mike Babcock (R-Bethalto) can think of at least 3.2 billion reasons why Illinois should not adopt the progressive tax system that Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker is actively promoting as a tax on the state's wealthiest residents.
“When you add it all up, in the last two years we’ve added that much in taxes and over the last four years it’s somewhere closer to $4 billion,” Babcock told the Metro East Sun. “This isn’t because the state is growing jobs and increasing the tax base. It’s just that we’re raising taxes.”
Babcock, who lost his 2018 election against Rep. Monica Bristow (D-Godfrey) by less than 400 votes, argues that enough is enough.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker
“We already have a mass exodus of people out of this state because taxes and fees are always rising and the progressive tax will be more of the same, including for the middle class,” Babcock said. “They can tell us this progressive tax will only impact the rich, but once they implement it they can change to whatever structure they want, and as the state runs out of money that’s exactly what they would do.”
Babcock is urging Illinoisans to vote against the progressive or graduated tax when they go to the polls in November and are faced with the question of a constitutional amendment to replace the state’s current flat income-tax system.
“We’re already losing more people than any other state in the country,” he said. “This won’t work because if the rich want to leave, they always can and everything will be left on the middle class.”
Babcock is not surprised that similar tax systems have failed to live up to expectations in other states. Revenues in California have been barely half of what was promised, and Connecticut has lost more than $10 billion and 360,000 jobs since switching to a progressive income-tax rate.
“They’re running us out of Illinois and this tax will just keep us on that same track,” he said.