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Republicans decry Pritzker’s nearly $1B in proposed tax increases


(The Center Square) – Republican state lawmakers are decrying Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s $52.7 billion budget proposal that looks to raise nearly $1 billion in new taxes in an effort to offset projected deficits.

During his State of the State and budget address Wednesday, Pritzker said he plans to include a child tax credit, among other things.

“So there’s one more thing that we ought to do for the good of our state’s working families. Let’s permanently eliminate the grocery tax,” Pritzker said.

State Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, said eliminating the 1% grocery tax doesn’t offset inflation and doesn’t impact other high costs for taxpayers in Illinois.

“College kids, taking it out on them. Seniors, where’s their prescription drug tax relief. There isn’t any,” Rose said. “Property tax relief for working families. Where’s that? Nowhere to be found.”

On the other side of the aisle, state Sen. Omar Aquino, D-Chicago, applauded the governor’s proposed state child tax credit.

“With rising costs over the past few years, a child tax credit is more important than ever,” Aquino said. “And the governor’s proposal makes it clear that the state child tax credit is the path forward for our state.”

Illinois House Minority Leader Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, had both good and bad things to say about Pritzker’s proposed budget.

“Two things that are extremely important to House Republicans is that we have education funded and the pension bill paid this year, and that was in, so that’s the good part,” McCombie said. “The bad part is that we’re gonna have $910 million in tax increases.”

Among those tax increases is a doubling of the state’s tax on sports betting. That’s estimated to increase taxes by about $200 million. A cap on the sales tax retailers’ discount is expected to increase taxes by $101 million. An adjustment to the individual income tax standard deduction is estimated to increase taxes by $93 million.

The most expensive tax hike is a proposed increase in the cap on the net operating loss deduction for businesses estimated to raise about $526 million.

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce said it is disappointed in the governor’s proposal.

“The cap is nothing more than forced borrowing of funds from Illinois businesses to finance government,” the group said in a statement. “We are also disappointed by the Governor’s proposal to reduce the sales tax retailers’ discount. This is a stealth tax increase on our retail sector, who are managing increased operating expenses due to rising labor and raw materials forcing them to operate on already razor thin margins.”

The next fiscal year begins July 1. Legislators must approve a spending plan with simple majorities before May 31.