Don’t be fooled by claims that a progressive income tax for Illinois would mean property tax relief

By Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner:

Listen to Gov. J.B. Pritzker and new Senate President Don Harmon in recent TV interviews and they’ll leave you thinking their progressive tax proposal includes real property tax relief for Illinoisans. Harmon pitches it this way: “The fair income tax would allow us to generate that income at the statewide level and push down the pressure on property taxes.”

That’s simply not true. There’s no money in their progressive tax plan for property tax relief. Their own math says so.

Their proposed tax structure will reportedly bring in just $3.6 billion in new revenue, an amount that would be swallowed immediately by the state’s projected $3.4 billion budget deficit, leaving virtually nothing for property tax relief or any other promises. We break out the numbers down below.

The only way tax Pritzker and Harmon can deliver real property tax cuts – in the absence of the spending and pension reforms Illinois actually needs – is to massively hike income taxes by billions more. That means they’d have to break their current promise of tax cuts for working and middle income Illinoisans.

Here’s what they said, and more importantly, what they didn’t.

What they’ve said

Listen to Pritzker’s interview on CBS 2 Chicago when he’s asked:

“Is property tax reform something you can promise will go hand-in-hand with the progressive tax?”

He said: “Remember what you’re paying for when you pay your property taxes… If we can help with that, then we are alleviating the burden of property taxes. The examples are paying for education.”

Read more: Wirepoints