Corruption Economy Government Politics

Pritzker’s Massive Tax Hike: Crushing Blow to Taxpayers

(The Center Square) – Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed into law a $750 million tax increase to fund the state’s largest spending plan in history. Alongside this, he has approved a measure increasing the state’s debt by $8 billion while granting schools more taxing authority.

The $53.1 billion budget, signed Wednesday, has been followed by a tax measure enacted on Friday, which includes capping the credit businesses can receive for claiming net operating losses and limiting the discount retailers get for collecting and remitting sales taxes.

During a late-night session last month, House Minority Leader Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, criticized the increase in the video gaming terminal tax. “This is going to hit our local businesses hard, making it more difficult for them to stay open,” she stated.

Defending the tiered tax on sports betting companies, Pritzker argued, “Our focus was on asking companies that can afford to pay more to do so.”

Another controversial provision in House Bill 4951 prohibits financial institutions from charging fees for sales tax and gratuity transactions. Despite concerns this will inconvenience consumers, Pritzker downplayed these issues, stating, “We’re always open to discussions and revisiting such concerns throughout the year.”

The revenue package also includes some tax credits, such as a withholding tax credit for hiring local journalists, and the creation of the Musicians Tax Credit and Jobs Act. The next fiscal year begins on July 1.

Additionally, Pritzker signed a bond authorization measure on Friday. State Rep. Tom Weber, R-Lake Villa, criticized House Bill 4582 for burdening taxpayers with $8 billion more in debt and allowing local school boards to increase property taxes without a referendum. “That’s right, folks. Tax increases by resolution, not by referendum,” he said, highlighting that Illinois already has some of the highest property taxes in the country.

The bill states that starting September 1, 2024, no referendum will be required to build or purchase a school building if it results in increased pre-kindergarten or kindergarten classroom space, as determined by the board.

Pritzker also signed Senate Bill 3268, the Medicaid omnibus bill, which changes rates for services and empowers pharmacists to conduct tests for flu, HIV, and COVID-19.

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