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Bloomington-Normal talks taxes

Written by on April 22, 2019

NORMAL – The non-profit organization Americans for Prosperity partnered with State Representatives Dan Brady and Randy Frese to host a town hall meeting discussing Governor J.B. Pritzker’s proposed graduated income tax system Tuesday night.

Illinois currently has a flat income tax meaning all residents, regardless of income, are taxed at a rate of 4.95 percent. The graduated tax system would mean that the wealthy would be taxed heavier than lower classes, lowering taxes for 97 percent of Illinois residents. Pritzker argued that raising the tax for the wealthy would raise $3.4 billion.

The discussion consisted of a presentation given by Americans for Prosperity outlining the proposed system with facts and figures, followed by a question and answer forum where those in attendance were able to directly address the representatives and the presenter.

The discussion heated up as the representatives and some of the audience had different views on the new system. Normal resident Racheal Lund who just recently moved back to Illinois was in attendance trying to catch up on Illinois government. Lund is hopeful that the change could be for the better.

“I’m excited to read more of the tax plan…I’m just glad to see that someone’s proposing something new. We have to do something different if we want to get out of the mess that we’re in right now,” Lund said.

State Representative Dan Brady thinks that raising taxes is not the solution to the problem.

“The revenue that we have coming in…put it towards our priorities in this state: public education, public infrastructure, public safety and what our constitution mandates us to do. Not create other programs or spend dollars in areas in which we shouldn’t be growing government in that way. We should be focusing on our priorities,” said Brady.

State Director of Americans for Prosperity Andrew Nelms agreed with Brady on the proposal.

“In just a few years we have more tax revenue than what the governor proposes to generate…It certainly is not the fault of any Illinois taxpayer that we find ourselves in this predicament and it shouldn’t be the case that Illinois taxpayers once again are looked at by politicians as the first course of action,” said Nelms.

Although there was a difference in opinions, a proposal of this matter would call for a constitutional amendment, giving the greater public an opportunity for their voices and opinions to be heard.


Grace Barbic contributed to this story.