Bailey argues tax hikes are a bust, pushing people out of state
Darren Bailey worries about what the future could hold for Illinois’ financial struggles.
“I fear the 2020 census will continue to show some of the same trends that have caused all the trouble,” Bailey told the SE Illinois News. “We can’t lower taxes fast enough, or enact tort reform and workmen compensation reform.”
Bailey argues the record-setting 32 percent permanent income tax hike enacted last year hasn’t had the impact legislators assured taxpayers it would have.
A year after state lawmakers in Springfield pushed through legislation that also paved the way for steep increases to the personal income and corporate income tax rates, a recent Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) report found that job growth and sustainability in Illinois are now nonexistent compared to the rest of the country.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports in the year since the tax was passed average annual jobs growth across the state decreased by 34 percent compared to the period marked by the end of the Great Recession.
“Even more people want to pack up and move, but that costs money too,” said Bailey, who is running against Democrat Cynthia Given in the 109th District. “All of this is happening because people are looking for better opportunities than they’re being presented with here in Illinois.”
Illinois has experienced a population decline for the fourth straight year, the latest being triggered by a flood of working-age people heading for the border in search of opportunities they felt were no longer abundant in Illinois, according to the Census Bureau.
Illinois’ 5 percent loss of prime working-age residents has been nearly five times greater than the national average, which has grown by 1.4 percent.
“It will be a journey now even if we pass all the reforms many of us feel are needed,” Bailey said. “We have to convince people that we’re ready to consistently do the things that will make the state great again. Things that will bring the people and businesses back to the area.”
S&P Global Ratings released an analysis stating that the state budgets instituted since the tax hikes passed have not done much to address the state’s systemic problems, such as the looming pension crisis and backlog of unpaid bills. This has left the state further handcuffed with the lowest credit rating in the country, rated one level above “junk” status.